Food, Travel

Reuben Hills Cafe in Surry Hills For Coffee & Kick


Reuben Hills is a uber cafe in trendy Surry Hills that sings with a cacaphony of first class cuisine exuding a playful touch, a chic ambience and top notch coffee. We visired Reuben Hills as part of a sojourn in Surry Hills staying at the Cambridge Hotel nearby. Lining up for 40 minutes on a week day to get in for brunch may seem overbearing, but we soon discovered it was all well worth it. Impressive was the maitre'D giving us regular reports on how the table availablity was looking... Reuben Hills is an elongated and elegant space with exposed brick on a section of the wall and high ceilings.


Reuben Hills is a well oiled unit despite the constant business. Staff are engaging and efficient and ever helpful. Quick to take your order, then quick to see if you have further needs. The food and coffee comes out relatively quickly considering a packed house. Spot a celebrity here - apparently Toby Maguire visited Reuben Hills while promoting The Great Gatsby.


Reuben Hills is famous for several menu items, which is always a good sign. I was always going to order the Fried Chicken w chilli in a basket (comes with expletive on the menu, fair enough). This fried chicken is cooked several different ways to keep the crispy outside and juicy inside. The aoli and the chilli sauce are magnificent to accompany. Surely one of the best fried chickens around. For those into chilli the chillis on top were a winner - as I gnawed on a few for some extra kick.


Reuben Hills is also famous for the NOT reuben wagyu salt brisket, pickled slaw, manchego & horseradish cream on rye. Of course its in the mould or spirit of the Reuben sanwich, but with a twist (no corned beef, no Swiss cheese). We are talking wagyu salt brisket - which would have been dazzling just on its own - perfectly cooked prime beef partnered with the pickled slaw and kick of the manchego cheese and horseradish. The rye itself was a winner in terms of quality artisan bread. Its a hearty sandwich and I wondered why we ordered two fried chicken baskets and baked eggs in addition.


We ordered another basket of the fried chicken it was that **** good.


Reuben Hills had already blown us away, and that was before their amazing coffee. I may seem in superlative overdrive but it was like that.

The next dish was one of the best we've had - the SOFT Baked Eggs - w jamon OR Morcilla, spinach, ranchero & rye. We chose jamon as the meat of choice. Fair dinkum, this was the best baked eggs dish we've ever experienced - and we've had a few... It was about the flavours coming together in a symphony. Sometimes baked eggs dishes can be tasteless and uninspiring, like the one I'd had a few days before elsewhere. But this knocked our socks off with perfectly cooked bacon, eggs, spinach and right amount of seasoning. Baked egg dishes need some kick, and Reuben Hills gives it the right amount of heat.


Reuben Hills pours a serious coffee. Grab a Panama Esmeralda Mario Enero 2013 (Bergamot & peach tea notes) filter or Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Kochere (Orange blossom & Jasmine tea notes) espresso of the day. I ordered a latte and it hit the mark.

These guys are a serious coffee destination, winning the Latorre & Dutch best boutique roaster of 2013.

Public coffee cuppings are held weekly Friday 10 am with all welcome.


Reuben Hills has a chic fitout - check the exposed brick section of the wall and spiral staircase. Reuben Hills is a Roastery and its heavy artillery equipment can be seen as you gaze upwards from the maddening crowd. The sense of space is enhanced with a back section opened up and roller door open. 


Reuben Hills is the cafe that keeps on giving. Also famous are the shakes. Choose from combinations that satiate - Salted Caramel, Espresso & White Choc, Mexican Ibarra Choc Chilli, and Lychee, Lime & Coconut. After imbibing the salted caramel shake, it was imperative to order another. The shake was alluring without being sickly.


So many menu options catch the eye, for example the Franks n Beans w soft duck egg, tortilla crisps, chimmichurri, pork sausage and sour cream. Or Short rib burger w garlic ranch dressing & potato salad... Kudos for breakfast menu items being served all day.


Desserts also resonate including Doggs Breakfast ice cream sandwich w salted caramel or Milhoja ‘Thousand Layers’ layered flakey pastry & dulce de leche.


Reuben Hills is a compelling cafe in Sydney and trendy Surry Hills. I've concluded that much of the menu comes with a twist and a kick, which we love. The menu is imaginative and playful. I enjoy cafes where the coffee is amazing but the cuisine is excellent to match. These guys can bat and bowl. Service here is friendly hipster.

If I had to wait another 40 minutes on a Friday morning for my next visit I would. Highly recommended.

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