Sunday, 21 September 2014

The Paramount Coffee Project

Address: 80 Commonwealth Street, Surrey Hills, Sydney 2010
Phone: (02) 9211 1122

Ah, Sydney. So many brunch spots, so little time. I ended up walking past The Paramount Coffee Project shortly after dining at Reuben Hills (Apparently, this is another cafe owned by the dudes who set up Reuben Hills). It was relatively quiet, as it was past the lunchtime rush, and I knew that I'd probably have difficulty getting in the next day (being a Saturday) I decided I'd step in to try a sweet dish.

Believe me, I was seriously tempted to try the Sweet Waffle with Peanut Butter Ice-cream...but in the end, my love for cooked bananas won out. In this case, not only were they cooked, they were bruleed bananas. Fancy...So I ended up ordering Banana Bread with Bruleed bananas, Marscapone and Macademia nuts.

The little bread loaf was quite cute. It came out in a bowl, drizzled with maple syrup, flanked by a serving of caramelised bananas and macademia nuts and topped with a dollop of marscapone.

I love banana bread, but I often feel like that it's very sweet. Even sweeter than a lot of cakes. In fact, I can't really tell the diffference between banana bread and banana cake most of the time. But at The Paramount Coffee Project, this wasn't the case at all. The banana bread was perfect. Served warm, I was greeted with the wafting scent of baked bananas. The marscapone was light and creamy, which served as a 'butter' for the bread, while the macademia nuts added a contrasting crunch in every bite which complemented the soft textures of the dish. All in all, the banana bread was beautiful.

I wish I'd been able to try other dishes. Aside from the Sweet Waffle, I was also seriously tempted to try the Coca Cola Ox Cheek Waffle. What a strange combination, right? But I was well fed after a whole morning of eating, so I gave it a pass. I'll definately be back though.

In regards to the actual cafe, the waitress who served me was quite friendly...though some of the waiters who came to 'check in' on me seemed to give off the disinterested hipster vibe. The space was wide and open with a lot of communal tables - a little tough for a lone traveller - but luckily I ended up with my own window table in the corner. Anoher thing to note is that people kept on coming into the cafe - I must have come in during the lull because it picked up again not long after I was served. So your best bet would be to come early if you're planning a brunch date at The Paramount Coffee Project.


Service: 7/10
Ambiance: 6.5/10

Worth visiting? Yeiiish, for it's pretty dishes, open communal dining space and nice service.
Price range: $$ (You're looking at $9-$10 for smaller dishes, $10-$20 for slightly larger dishes. A bit pricey, but worth it if you're sharing with friends)

The Paramount Coffee Project on Urbanspoon

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Reuben Hills

Address: 61 Albion Street, Surry Hills, Sydney
Phone: (02) 9211 5556
Facebook: Reuben Hills

Been busy zooming back and forth to Sydney recently, so I've been lucky enough to try out some of the awesome cafes and eateries in the CBD. When planning my trip, my first move was to check out Urbanspoon to see where I should eat for the next couple of days....

One of the trending cafes was Reuben Hills, a place with quirky, Mexican-inspired flavours. I almost missed the cafe on my way up the Albion Street hill because it had such a simple shopfront...but it was a cool, chic little space with plants and lights adorning the brick walls and a roller-door exit on the far end where the sun poured into the room. I look a seat at this end of the cafe to peruse the menu. There were a lot of interesting dishes, all with an exotic twist...but in the end it was the crab that got me. I love soft-shell crab, so it was the tostada for me.

This is by far one of the best Soft shell crabs I've had. The exterior was crispy, but the crab itself was fleshy, soft and sweet. I also liked that it was plated in its original shape. The slaw was very flavoursome with all the tastes and colour that a Mexican dish should have. It was wonderfully fruity, tangy and spicy and went well with the Queso Fresco cheese, creamy black bean paste and tostada shells. All in all, a very delightful and filling dish which I had with a Nutella Hot Chocolate.

It had a pleasant hazelnut-Nutella scent and was warm and bubbly. It wasn't as thick as I hoped (I think my taste buds in regards to hot chocolate have been spoilt by the hot chocolate I had at Angelina's in France. Since then, I've only ever wanted thick hot chocolate...) But it was a pretty good drink. The girl who served me was very friendly and very conversational about everything: the food, my photo-taking and the weather. She was so pleasant that I felt it added to my first experience.

The second time I visited Reuben Hills was for lunch the very next day. Too tired to look for a new place for lunch after going on a looong present-shopping trip, I wondered back to Reuben Hills for a bit of lunch. It was late, probably about 3 o'clock, so I was pretty hungry...and had a weak spot for the fried chicken. Also, I really liked the name given to the dish on the menu: 'Really F*cking Great Chicken...'

And it was pretty damn delicious. Tender chicken, lightly fried (it was good chicken too with no fatty pieces) served with lime juice, ranch sauce and some kind of spicy salsa? Sooo good. There were also some green chili pieces...but I left those well alone given my lack of tolerance for hot food...Though the chicken was pretty addictive, I had to leave some of it because it was quite filling and I'd also decided to order the Brioche and Dulce De Leche.

The Brioche bun was OK. Not as soft as I thought it might be. The Dulce De Leche was delicious and thick. It tasted like condensed milk, but with a caramel texture. This dish was a bit plain, and you can get the Dulce De Leche in a couple of other desserts, so I recommend ordering those instead...unless you're having two dishes. This was just the right amount of sweetness after the fried chicken, so I was quite happy with that.

The service was pretty awesome on my second visit too. The waitress who showed me to my seat was a little bit indifferent, but the two guys that served me when I paid for my meal were very friendly and joked around with me. Overall, I had a super good experience and loved the food. Look forward to visiting again the next time I'm up in Sydney!


Service: 9/10
Ambience: 6/10
Food: 19/20

Is it worth visiting? Delicious Mexicana dishes served with a friendly vibe.
Price range: $$ (You're looking at about $8-$18.50 for dish) 

Reuben Hills on Urbanspoon