Recently I had the opportunity to attend the launch event for the opening of Bar Surry Hills and Italian Kitchen located inside Rydge's Hotel on Albion Street, Surry Hills. Before then, I believe it was mostly pub food before the revamp of the venue so it's interesting to see a classier Italian casual dining restaurant replacing this joint.
This is located very close to Chur Burger and Reuben Hills so it's good to see Albion Street getting its name out there in the Surry Hills restaurant scene. Plus it's a great spot with loads of space to chill with a cocktail or two.
Upon entry, there was a table containing a platter of freshly cut charcuterie meats, a giant wheel of Parmesan cheese (!!!), olives and loaves of bread with mixed toppings to accompany the platter. There was even a man standing behind the table using the meat slicer to prepare the platter for the hoards of interested and hungry guests.
Mixed bread loaves
Parmesan and Mixed Olives
Salumi Misti Board ($18.00)
Sicilian Olives and Handmade Grisini (included in Salumi Misti Board)
This board was a very popular feature at the launch night with queues of people waiting for to be served. With that many cured meats to try, this was no surprise at all. This includes slices of prosciutto, sopressa, mortadella, home made grisini, sicilian olives, grana cheese and extra virgin olive oil. The thinly sliced meats were so delicious that I was keen to try more and more. Especially the prosciutto and the sopressa cured meats. The same goes for the grana padano cheese which had a hard and bitey texture with a fairly strong flavour. The platter was accompanied with green and black Sicilian olives and crispy grisini which were equally tasty to enjoy. There was just so much to sample on this platter that I would be happy to stick with this all night and order seconds.
Giant wheel of Parmesan cheese!
Had to do another picture because seriously look at the giant cheese wheel! Wouldn't mind biting into this right now hehe.
If pizza is gets you going, you will be glad to hear that Bar Surry Hills and Italian Kitchen has a generous selection of pizzas to decide especially for large groups. Throughout the evening, we saw loads of different pizzas delivered from the kitchen. Each pizza costs $16.00 if you want to get a whole 12 inch round pizza. If you are in a larger group and you want to try their 1 meter pizzas (yes they have 1 meter pizzas!!!) then it costs $70. There was also a good selection of bianco pizzas (base with no tomato sauce) to choose from if that is generally your preference. On my first impression of the pizza base, this wasn't as thin as you would expect but not as thick either which is good if you like your crust to have a balanced texture.
Fungi Misti - porcini mushroom, truffle, ricotta, thyme
The first pizza I tried was the Fungi Misti, a bianco pizza which had an aromatic taste that you would expect from porcini mushrooms and truffle. Though I'm personally not a huge fan of ricotta cheese, the remaining ingredients added a decent amount of flavour that this ended up being the least of my concerns.
San Daniele - tomato, roquette, San Danielle prosciutto, shaved parmesan
I was so hungry that I ended up picking a slice of the San Daniele pizza and forgot to take the photo before digging in. Loved the tasty prosciutto which was the star of this pizza.
Diavola - tomato, mozzarella, hot salami, capsicum, olives
This was definitely one of my fave pizzas of the night. Quite spicy though it actually hits you slowly. Absolutely loved the stringy mozzarella cheese that doesn't let go when you pick up the slice.
Quattro Formaggi - mozaarella, gorgonzola, crescenza, ricotta, basil, shaved parmesan
So much cheesy goodness. You will be in cheese heaven with this type of pizza especially with the many different types featured in the toppings.
Bruschetta - pomodoro, imported goats cherve, baby basil ($8.00)
Did not end up trying the above but the toppings looked very delicious.
These golden risotto balls consists of pesto with (mozzarella?) cheese oozing out as you take a bite. Loved the outside crumbled coating which was nicely crisp. This came with creamy aioli sauce on the side. Unfortunately I forgot (I had quite a few drinks by then) to take a photo of the arancini as a whole so here's a food porn shot.
Nutella Pizza with strawberries and sweet sugar ($12.00)
The highlight of the night was seeing the 1 meter pizza in all its glory as a nutella pizza! Looks like chocolate and strawberry heaven just by looking at the above photo. You can't help but drool as you see it approaching your table. The crust was thick and doughy which was topped with fresh strawberries, spreads of nutella chocolate and sprinkles of icing sugar. While it was worth the food porn moment, I would have preferred more nutella chocolate but still it was an amazing pizza otherwise.
Canoli - hand piped Sicilian ricotta, chocolate ($4.00)
Just like the Nutella pizza, the canoli was also an incredible, food-porn worthy sight. Lots of creamy ricotta and chocolate stacked inside the crunchy shell and coated with icing sugar. Looks so dreamy to eat and certainly very yummy since everyone at the table gave this a thumbs up.
Passionfruit Paloma Cocktail ($16.00)
What's a bar without a few drinks to kickstart the night? Loved the passionfruit paloma cocktail which had a sweet (but not overwhelmingly sweet) flavour which is ideal to have on a warm day as you chill on the couch.
Espresso Martini ($16.00)
For a warmer night, I personally would enjoy an espresso martini. This had a coffee flavour with a thick amount of froth and topped with cocoa powder. Quite strong but lovely since it felt like drinking a coffee mixed with alcohol. Wouldn't mind having another glass again.
Disclaimer: The Random Foodie dined as a guest of Bar Surry Hills and Italian Kitchen, courtesy of Zoe from The Drawing Book Studios. Opinions remain personal.
Bar Surry Hills and Italian Kitchen
28 Albion Street, Surry Hills NSW 2010
(02) 9289 0028
Mon-Sat: 11:00am - 11:45pm
Sun: 4:00pm - 11:45pm