A pun on the reuben sandwich and Surry Hills? Well it was going to happen eventually especially with all the cafes popping up at every corner of Surry Hills. Literally. What makes this one any different? For me, this was on my wishlist since it first opened very soon after New Year's Day. The menu looked very interesting with a bit of Latin and South American influences as well as a couple of cafe staples.
The decor of the cafe has an industrial/DIY vibe in their design. The vibe has a bit of your usual Inner Westie hipster chilling with their friend while sipping on the latest organic fairtrade coffee. At the cafe, the staff uses (or reuses) different sorts of vintage small jars to serve tap water, something that I find intriguing and will look forward to seeing which jar I will get in future visits.
Yes there is actually water in that jar
From reading reviews at other blogs, they originally advertised their sandwich to be the reuben sandwich. But with fillings such as wagyu salt brisket beef, mancheo cheese, pickled slaw and horseradish cream; this does not really match with what it really is (which is meant to have corned beef/pastrami, swiss cheese and sauerkraut). Thus when I finally got to check out the place, they have corrected this to 'the NOT Reuben sandwich'. Nice.
Balaeda - eggs, queso fresca, black beans
On this occasion, I was in the mood for their other signature item - the balaeda! For those who have never heard of this dish, it is basically a breakfast soft taco with a thick wheat flour tortilla folded and filled with various toppings. I was hoping to get the pimenton pulled pork but they ran out of it so I tried the eggs, queso fresco and black beans version. I found this to be very delish with the fresh eggs and small clunks of cheese blending together. Can't wait to try the pork version next time!
Baked beef empanadas served with pico de gallo
As I am a sucker for Latin American cuisine, I had to try the beef empanadas. Aside from the minced beef, there are small chunks of potato and onions in the filling which had a dense, starchy taste when you chew it. The pico de gallo salsa is the perfect accompaniment to this dish to balance with the crunchy savoury pastry and the chewiness from the fillings
Salted caramel milkshake
Since it is a cafe, you might as well take the opportunity to try some coffee or one of their milkshakes. When I saw this on the menu, I immediately thought of macarons. Sure enough when trying it, the milkshake did tasted very creamy and milky at first but the salted caramel flavour reaches your tastebuds at the end with each slurp.
And if that wasn't enough, I went for more salted caramel indulgence with the Doggs breakfast. This is pretty much an ice cream sandwich with a small pool of salted caramel sauce on the side. It is a very sweet combination when you mixed it together bite by bite. Now is it me or are various versions of ice cream sandwiches popping up everywhere at cafes and restaurants across Sydney? I reckon it's becoming the new hip dessert for sugar indulgences.
In addition to the food, the friendly service is a bonus for what is already an exquisite cafe experience. If you are stuck on which cafe to check out when you drop by Surry Hills or your favourite cafe has very long queues, give Reuben Hills a go and see what it's like for you. Will come back for to try their coffee, pork balaeda and the not-Reuben sandwich.
61 Albion St Surry Hills 2010
Contact no: (02) 9211 5556