Recently, my Canadian cousin visited Australia for the long awaited honeymoon. I sadly missed out on their wedding due to work commitments so it was time to make up for it and show the best places to see around Sydney for the newlywed couple. We met up on a breezy and somewhat warmish Saturday morning in Surry Hills for a casual brunch. Obviously so many choices of cafes to check out. However when you have no idea when you will be in Sydney next, you might as well check out Sydney's institution for brunch: Bills of course!
Bill Granger is known for his easy, simple, no fuss recipes from his many cookbooks as well as delivering delicious brunches at his restaurants. In the past, I've been to Bills for lunch and even dinner but never for breakfast or brunch due to my hopelessness in waking up early on a weekend. While there was a line when we arrived at the cafe in the heart of Crown Street, Surry Hills; we didn't need to wait too long (about 20 mins actually). The menu outside gave us time to decide on the dishes and ended up going with pretty much all the dishes on Bills' classics menu. While the breakfast menu finishes at 12pm, thankfully the following classic brunch dishes are available for lunch until 4pm.
It was a long day ahead which will end with a crazy night out so a cup of coffee is needed. Bills uses Single Origin Coffee beans for their coffee so it wasn't too strong or bitter but the smooth texture was the highlight.
Skim Mocha (Small: $3.90, Large: $4.50)
Cuz and Wifey were intrigued by the below drink. I wasn't too sure since this was my first time for brunch but looking at the ingredients, I just said "it looks like a health drink with lots of veggies mixed together. This drink contains green apple, cucumber, spinach, chia seeds and young coconut. Sounds like one crazy drink actually. Wifey thought the taste was too much to handle but Cuz enjoyed it and was satisfied by the health benefits that Bill Granger aims for in his cooking.
Bills Daily Greens ($9.50)
I didn't end up trying the below drink either but Wifey said that she enjoyed this one. Thought it was smooth, zesty and fruity like a smoothie. Refreshing to have on a warm morning.
Sunrise - Orange juice, banana, yoghurt, berries (S: $6.00, R: $7.50)
Finally the dishes that we've been waiting for! Cuz had his eyes on the Full Aussie Breakfast which includes Bills famous scrambled organic eggs, sourdough toast, bacon, roasted tomato, swiss mushroom and pork and fennel sausages. So much to dig in but Cuz ate the whole thing without any trouble. I tried a bit of the scrambled eggs and thought it was soft and so creamy but light and (surprisingly) not too milky. Would love to give this a go especially for the pork and fennel sausages though we were stunned at the amount of butter wedged between the toasted bread.
Full Aussie Breakfast ($24.50)
From past visits, I can never ever get sick of the sweet corn fritters. These are seriously the best corn fritters I've ever had! No exaggeration. The fritters were packed with little fresh corn kernels into the lightly crispy batter. The bacon was nicely cooked, juicy and not too crispy while the spinach was perfect to have at the end since the other ingredients were a tad oily. The tangy flavour from the tomato added a touch of zing to the overall taste. What I loved about these fritters was that they were not as doughy or soggy as most other fritters I've had in the past. The portion sizes was also reasonable for me to eat literally everything off the plate. So freaking good!
Sweetcorn Fritters, Roast Tomato, Spinach, Bacon ($21.00)
I didn't try much of the ricotta hotcakes but shared a bit with the Wifey who ordered this dish. Although I have never tried ricotta hotcakes before I was blown away by the texture of this dish. Light, fluff, simple and not too sweet. It was everything that reminds you of Bill Granger's cooking style. I didn't seem to notice much ricotta when I had my share but Wifey said that it was hidden in certain parts of the hotcakes. While it looked so pretty on the plate, the honeycomb butter was incredibly generous and it was just too much butter for the guests to handle. Every flavour combination worked so well together from the fruitiness of the chopped bananas to the sweetness from the drizzle of maple syrup and the savoury texture of the butter and the ricotta.
Ricotta Hotcakes, Banana and Honeycomb Butter ($19.50)
Check out that melting honeycomb butter!
While it took a while to get a table and the prices aren't cheap, the overall service and food delivery was fast, friendly and down to earth. Not to mention that the food was so delicious. It's no wonder that locals and tourists flock to Bills for their brunch feed. This is outstanding considering the other competition in the Surry Hills cafe scene lately. Will be coming back here to try more of dishes from the breakfast menu especially for those ricotta hotcakes.
359 Crown Street, Surry Hills NSW 2010
(02) 9360 4762
Breakfast: 7:00am to 12:00pm
Lunch: 12:00pm to 4:00pm
Dinner: 5:00pm to 10:00pm