It's Week 5 of Term 2, it's 2 weeks until exams, but I gotta squeeze in this last blog post before I go off for a few weeks for my Assessment 3 exams. See, since the middle of Term 1 Holidays, about one a half months ago, I've been reading up on Reuben Hills, and have gotten my hopes up about it so much :) (Yep I visited all these just to read up on it!) The Reuben Hills hype was around January this year, so I'm a latecomer :\ But better late than never :)
I really wish I could try all the dishes there in one day!! But I reckon I'll revisit it soon. I actually planned to brekkie there in week 3, but I was doing Live Below the Line then. Yeah, I may or may not have daydreamt about Reuben-y goodness one or twice...or more.
Admittedly, I'm still a newb when it comes to food, I haven't had a good dose of South American cuisine yet. The only cuisine I'm quite solid on is Viet, but that goes without saying, because I've been living on it for more than 16 years! But that mustn't stop me from doing my research, hehe :)
Entering the store a few minutes shy of 9am, it was a really chill atmosphere. Not that many people, there were about 5 or 6, so it seemed pretty spacious for a street-side Surry Hills café. Hip and edgy music and really nice interior design :) Better shade of brown than our school uniform, a more relaxed creamy coffee shade. (the linked blogs above have really good pictures which show the atmosphere very well. I happen to only have with me a Canon Powershot A450, which isn't pro like DSLRs and has problems focusing in places with dark lighting :\)
The menu has changed, I don’t think taking a picture of the menu was allowed, but referring to the one here, the prices have increased slightly. If they had it on their site, it would've made my life a whole lot easier, but then I got to read up on Reuben Hills on other blogs while in search of their menu, which made me hungry, as usual :). But it's good to keep their menu secret I guess, for price changes and exoticness of their food.
I really have to commend the service at this place. It's seriously up there in my list of "best service" places that I've been to. Maybe it's just me and I just love to be able to talk to them, but there are those waiters who are casually nice, or maybe some that are too in-your-face, but the waitress asked if we wanted coffees, offered to turn on the heater for us, she was basically there whenever we needed her. She even offered to help Michael and I take a picture of us! :) (Haha, I really have a thing for service, don't I. I came back to Guylian Choc Cafe @Darling Quarter in the evening remembering back to the awesome waiter Leo!)
While looking at the reprinted menu, the water came out straight away.
The water bottle is really cute!! And thank goodness it doesn’t have that tap water aftertaste – that’s like one of my pet hates every time I eat out. And yes there’s no surcharge for water, by the way.
- Salted Caramel milkshake- $6.50
Our shake came out straight after we ordered it. Chill and creamy. Not too sweet and not too salty. Just right :) And a seriously huge (and obviously good quality) amount for the price!
The dishes came out in less than 10 minutes.
- balaeda - free range eggs, queso fresco*, black beans - $11 (was $9)
*A Mexican cheese
Oh yummm, like a classic burrito, except not a classic burrito, haha :). To be honest, I’ve rarely eaten burritos and South American style wraps, the closest I’ve got was tacos, but the similar tastes help me relate. And man, the black beans were creamy as - YUM! And isn’t it wonderful how different cultures use the same ingredient but in such a different way, creating such tasty and authentic flavours? Thinking back to my mum and grandma, they like to make sweet soup desserts (chè), and the black bean variation is easily one of my favourites. But to eat this creamy awesomeness accompanied by scrambled eggs (seasoned well, not too gluggy and creamy/mushy, and definitely not rubbery and dry, just right again :) ) and culturally authentic cheese.
- the NOT reuben (formerly called "the REUBEN")- Wagyu salt brisket*, pickled slaw, melted manchego** & horseradish cream - $16 (was $15)
* Wagyu's pretty much the tag name for "awesome tender and juicy quality, and high in unsaturated fat, not bad fat", because that breed of cattle is just too cool :)
** chhyeahh, authenticating the Reuben with its South American roots with this special cheese originated from Spain's La Mancha region.
Ok so just a brief heads up on the Reuben :) So according to our best friend Wikipedia, the traditional Reuben sandwich is made up of: grilled rye bread, corned beef (salt-cured beef), sauerkraut ("sour cabbage" - thinly shredded cabbage that's been fermented), Swiss cheese, with either Russian or Thousand Island dressing. There are several variants, including the "Rachel Sandwich", which generally swaps the sauerkraut for coleslaw, and pastrami for corned beef. Pastrami is also a type of cured beef, because back then, people needed to find ways to preserve meat. It's typically made from the beef brisket (the chest of the cattle). So basically, we had the Rachel Sandwich instead of the Reuben, in agreement with He Needs Food.
I guess from reading this food blog goss (refer to all the links up top), they've decided to call it "the NOT reuben", which I reckon kinda defeats the heightened anticipation of finding the “classic Reuben sandwich” here (thought it was called Reuben Hills for that reason :\). I personally don’t mind being served a variant of the Reuben, because I’ve never tasted a genuine one before.
But man, all of that was a like brunch! And looking at other people's blogs, I already had the urge to try Doggs Breakfast and ceviche. But I certainly like the South American vibe of this place. Laid back, casual and hip, and great qoality food, for a reaonable price Not just "another cafe" at Surry Hills. Coming back for sure!
(Blogpost edited 24/2/13)