Earlier this year, I was surprised by a quick work trip up to Sydney with my boss for one night.
The bonus of working in a company, where there is a focus on working with hospitality outlets as well as staying on top of what’s happening in the scene, means that in between work, we’re making sure to squeeze in some good proper food.
After a morning meeting in Waterloo, we scuttled over to Newtown and made tracks for Brewtown Newtown, first on my list, as I had been lusting over their cruffins on Instagram.
Brew town Newtown feels all hipster; kinda warehouse-y, lo-fi feel but with nice fit out details, staff who courteous but not overly friendly and a splash of retro with lovely sign writing here and there.
Coffees look good, chai is hearty, but what really gets my blood pumping, is the black pudding dish, presented more as a salad, with some greens, a touch of fennel, sweet roasted capsicum and a touch of dairy (I’ve forgotten exactly what it was). What surprised me was just how generous they were with the black pudding, almost lining the bottom of the plate, and I loved this fresh use black pudding, which is otherwise generally used in heavy and rich dishes. I couldn’t finish this because there was so much!
But let’s also not forget what we were here for. Them cruffins and cronuts. How are you supposed to just choose one when there are like 6 flavours for each? I opt for a cruffin, since I haven’t seen them too often in Melbourne (and they didn’t have a little oil patch underneath them).
Oh man. Made directly upstairs, the nutella cruffin was everything. Absolutely stuffed with nutella, so that you could definitely get hazelnut chocolatey goodness in every bite, and also light and gently crunchy. I loved that these felt indulgent, but not oily or heavy.
From one sweet, to another. Black Street Pastry is conveniently located 10 minutes down the road from Brewtown Newtown, so I had to get my hands on the famous strawberry watermelon cake with rose scented cream.
Goodness. It is beautiful and tasted delicious. Although I’m usually a rich chocolate dessert person, this still made me very happy, with fresh and light flavours, and fun little surprises. I did not honestly expect a whole layer to actually be a slice of watermelon. It’s so refreshing and provides such an interesting texture with the cream. Gluten free too, many levels of happiness.
For dinner, after a couple more meetings, we made our way to Bills in Surry Hills for dinner. I’d been previously for breakfast, and loved how the bright and chirpy interiors during the day translated to an upmarket but still relaxed atmosphere in the evening.
Hits that evening definitely included the yellow fish curry with spiced pumpkin, peanuts, brown rice and cucumber relish, which I could not stop lopping onto my rice, with lovely rich coconut flavour and sweetness from the pumpkin, and the completely moreish Korean fried chicken with iceberg lettuce, spring onion and chilli sesame.
I also could not resist the brown sugar pavlova with vanilla poached rhubarb and rosewater yoghurt when I saw it come out for the table of guys next to us. I had to giggle when I overheard one of them saying they needed to take a picture for the missus.
Because I mean really. Just look at it. It’s absolutely salivating stuff; light and sweet. The poached rhubarb is just divine.
The next morning, my boss took me to Paramount Coffee Project, which was around the corner from our hotel in Surry Hills as well.
Goodness. If you love interiors, Paramount Coffee Project is just gorgeous. It’s a cafe, cinema and bar, and apparently there’s a bike repair shop around the back somewhere as well too. High ceilings, and a slick mix of tiles, worn brick and polished concrete, with suitably broody black and white murals on the walls.
For breakfast we opted to share a crumbed eggs on toast, with mustard braised hock and kale. Although it read well on paper, our eggs were unfortunately, a little overcooked, but I loved the richness of the hock.
What I also really, really enjoyed, was because they didn’t do chai, I got to have a pecan buttermilk instead. Oh man. Why isn’t this stuff everywhere? Rich, creamy, with a lovely strong nuttiness to it, I absolutely loved this. This is just begging to be drunk in cold weather in front of a fire place or something. Yum.
And with that, the rest of the day was unfortunately spent working. I have no doubt that if left to my own devices I could have found much more to eat…but that was all to be saved for the next trip I had up to Sydney, when Brad and I would visit for a weekend…
6-8 O'Connell Street
Newtown NSW 2042
277 Australia Street
Newtown NSW 2042
359 Crown Street
Surry Hills 2010
80 Commonwealth Street
Surry Hills 2010