Reuben Hills

Despite the super rainy weekend, we decided to brave the outside world and venture to SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium! But before that, we grabbed some breakfast. Initially, we planned to go to Mr Crackles on Oxford Street, but it turned out to be takeaway only. Given the poor weather, we kind of needed somewhere warm and sheltered…so we wandered along Crown Street, passing by Chow Eating House and Bar (completely empty during lunch…) and considering Bills.

Instead, we opted for the cheaper option:

Reuben Hills

We arrive at around 12.30pm on a Sunday and the place is packed! We ask for a table of two and told that it’ll 15-20 minutes.

Here’s a long shot of the cafe. This doesn’t show all the people waiting for table, because that was in the other direction, but trust me there were many!

Reuben Hills
Reuben Hills

Food and Drink

Finally, we’re seated and check out the menu. There’s “Eat All Day” which covers the usual breakfasts, baked eggs, burgers and salads. There’s coffee and teas, desserts and…milkshakes! The menu ranges up to $20 for a lunch, plus about $5 for a drink. Standard cafe prices. We get some table water and they come in these old fashioned milk bottles! I thought that was pretty cool.

Although what does it mean “Colgate Junior: Cares for milk teeth”. What on earth is “milk teeth”??

Picture 192
Flat white with D2D as hand model

We also order a salted caramel milkshake, even though it’s cold weather. So sweet and delicious!

Picture 193
Salted caramel milkshake – $8.50

Our food arrives pretty quickly. This is the NOT reuben wagyu. Not sure what that means. The sandwich comes in a plastic basket (kind of like at Good God), so not fancy, but it’s pretty tasty.

the NOT reuben wagyu salt brisket, pickled slaw, manchego & horseradish cream on rye - $16
the NOT reuben wagyu salt brisket, pickled slaw, manchego & horseradish cream on rye – $16

Then a typical egg centered dish! This is Frank n Beans – which sounds like Frankenstein. OMG I didn’t realise until now, but that was a duck egg?? It tastes like chicken lol. There was a weird green puree next to the sausage, which I didn’t really like. It was like grass.

Otherwise everything was good. We were also seated on the glass window facing the street so had a full view of people standing/talking outside.

20131117_130452
Franks n Beans w soft duck egg, tortilla crisps, chimmichurri, pork sausage and sour cream

What else is around?

I’ve already covered this in other posts, since we eat in Surry Hills quite a bit. So check out all our other Surry Hills posts.

Reuben Hills on Urbanspoon

Advertisements

Waqu

Waqu is one of D2D’s favourite Japanese restaurants! His family comes here and has the seasonal degustation every time. Some distinctive things about this place are: they like foam and not really cooking their food. As you’ll soon notice, each course requires minimal cooking and maximum plating!

What’s also noticeable is that it was very difficult to take photos! This place is rather dark (our table had a candle – ambience, tick!), so it was a struggle but D2D managed to edit these very well.

Waqu

  • Website: http://www.waqu.com.au/
  • Address: 308 Pacific Highway, Crows Nest, NSW 2065
  • Call: (02) 9906 7736
  • Book online: on Dimmi (and earn points towards $50 voucher)
  • Open: Tues-Wed (from 6pm), Thur-Sun (from 12pm)

Ok, so let’s start the six-course degustation!

20131110_183117
Complimentary cucumber wrapped around herbed rice

First up is the Soup of the Day. This is served cold and in a wine glass. I decided to drink it like wine, rather than use the spoon! It’s Japanese pumpkin soup. Tasty but nothing that special.

20131110_183345
Soup of the day

This next one looks just like the soup again. But it’s not. It’s actually their mocktail. Quite delicious and almost like sorbet! They have a drinks menu including cocktails, mocktails, beers and wines.

20131110_183645
Peach calpis mocktail – $8

The second course arrives. It’s sashimi with some interesting additions: mango sauce (the yellow part), the brown ‘rice bubbles’ and the green tea salt, which had a cool mix of bitter/saltiness.

Each course is explained to us by the staff.

20131110_184027
‘SU-JIME’ SALMON SASHIMI
mango sauce, myoga salad, lightly fried wild rice, green tea salt

Third course: I really liked this one! Scallops are so soft (because they are hardly cooked) and smooth. Again, there’s a whole array of random things on this plate. Various sauces, some salty prosciuotto…

20131110_185156
SCALLOPS + BEANS
confit of scallops, pea puree, pea+yoghourt mousse, basil splash, prosciutto crisp

For the Fourth course you can choose between the Kingfish or the Barramundi. We got one each.

The special thing about the Kingfish is the BACON FOAM! See, they like foam here.

20131110_190521
PAN FRIED KINGFISH
bacon foam, watercress purée, 60°c steamed white asparagus, roasted soba seeds

Our waiter also told us that the skin is apparently the best part of the fish, and yes it was pretty delicious. The barramundi was incredibly soft.

The eggplant nibitashi is a weird flavour. D2D ate all of mine.

20131110_190546
PAN FRIED BARRAMUNDI
grilled eggplant nibitashi, cucumber + zucchini purée, sautéed king oyster mushroom

Here comes the Fifth Course!
Again, you can choose between the lamb, chicken and steak. I chose the lamb, which was pretty nice. What I liked most was actually the vegetables on the side (the mung bean sprout salad!). As you’ll notice, there is a random little sprout on the plate…

20131110_192549
ROAST RACK OF LAMB
purple carrot + almond purée, mung bean sprout salad, potato confit, zucchini flower

D2D also had this random sprout on his plate! And you can see, they split the peas. Very decorative there. The steak was very rare (not much needs cooking in Waqu).

20131110_192542
TAJIMA WAGYU SIRLOIN STEAK
BMS 6+, Grain Fed ($8 surcharge)
celeriac puree, rocket puree, apple sauce, potato gratine, dried mustard seeds

Finally, we head for dessert. I’m quite satisfied and full. This is Strawberry X3! Basically, it’s deconstructed strawberry cheesecake. We were instructed to eat bits altogether and sure enough it tasted like strawberry cheesecake! The sorbet was also a good palate cleanser.

20131110_195230
STRAWBERRY STRAWBERRY STRAWBERRY
strawberry mousse, cake, crumble, meringue, red wine sorbet with cream cheese sauce

Food: Generally

This is actually the second time I’ve been to Waqu. The first time was for lunch. Their website has copies of their menu options, but basically for dinner, there is:

For lunch, there’s:

  • three course lunch set – $35
  • five course lunch set – $55
  • one plate quick lunch – $18

I had the one plate quick lunch (fish & chips) last time, which was pretty satisfying/filling. However, it doesn’t quite reflect what the restaurant normally serves (contemporary Japanese).

Price and Service

We used D2D’s $50 Dimmi voucher, so the meal was brought down to about $45 pp and we also went on Sunday night (so $58pp x 2 plus drinks). This was a very good deal for 6 courses with excellent service. The staff was very pleasant and explain each dish as it comes (even though sometimes we don’t quite understand).

What’s Around?

Maybe the food wasn’t filling enough, but D2D had a craving for kurtosh so we got a bit more food…

Waqu on Urbanspoon

late lunch excelsior jones

20131026_143520

139A Queen St, Ashfield NSW 2131
In the middle of no where 
there is a bustling little cafe 
called -
      excelsior jones

13828244066401

right before some pottery 
painting in summer hill(i know its girly) 
what better occasion to enjoy a nearby 
late lunch at a popular hipster cafe 
even arriving after 2pm, this 
place is still quite packed on
a saturday arvo

however, seats are empty
right in front of the kitchen...

20131026_134833

the coffee making machine, 
the front counter,
the register, 
and all of the cake and muffins!
all in one place 

13827966697481

the menu -
now that i see it again, 
i really want to try the homemade
chicken nuggets! 
didn't see it as it's 
under the kiddies section

20131026_135515

heart <3
good coffee 
tt got a fizzy juice which 
you can see slightly on the right

20131026_135617

an order of crinkle cut chips 
came out being a really large bowl 
so much potato in this one! 
i like eating the smaller pieces 
which tend to be more crunchy 
(hence why i  prefer chips over wedges)

20131026_135550

Pork Hash (they have a smoked salmon option) -

yummy poached egg with seasoning 
tasty pork hock meat 
fresh herb vegetables 
lots and lots of potatoes

would have preferred 
more pork ratio over potato...

20131026_135636

Cheese Burger with fried spuds 

I mentioned i liked hot chips over wedges 
but these wedges are super crunchy 
just how i like them 

the burger is packed with 
a thick beef paddy 
(possible could have 
done with more flavour, but i guess 
this is more healthy?)
and more than enough gruyere cheese 

better than a grilld 
not as good as stitch or chur burger...

Excelsior Jones on Urbanspoon