A Day Out In Surry Hills: For Beginners

As described by local residents, Surry Hills is ‘a melting pot of cultures’ located in the inner city eastern suburb of Sydney. Picture a second cousin of Newtown fused with a few industrial, commercial and residential areas. It’s also a creative hub where hipsters from all around the city gather to Instagram their visits. From the borders of Elizabeth and Chalmer’s Street to the outskirts of Crown, Surry Hills is a thriving destination for food with its many choices of restaurants and cafés and a fantastic place to go shopping. To kickstart your own visit, I’ve crafted a short list as a guide to help you explore the best of Surry Hills:

1. Firedoor, Mary Street (https://www.firedoor.com.au/): 
If a community of pyromaniacs were to come together and create a restaurant, that restaurant would be the Firedoor. A place dedicated to cooking premium Australian food in the purest form using, you guessed it, fire.

Source: http://www.goodfood.com.au/eat-out/the-nine-woodfired-dishes-you-must-eat-this-winter-in-sydney-20150521-gh6pic

2. Bishop Sessa, Crown St (http://bishopsessa.com.au/): 
For an affordable pseudo-fine dining experience, Bishop Sessa offers a delightful dinner with a choice of an a la carté menu or the degustation course (six dishes for only $77 pp), a recommended place for a romantic date.

Source: https://enzovivo.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/257510.jpg
Source: https://enzovivo.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/257510.jpg

3. Porteno, Cleveland St (http://www.porteno.com.au/)
Porteno is a popular Argentinian restaurant in the heart of Cleveland St that only produces the finest culinary creations with variations that cater to meat lovers, vegetarians, and seafood lovers.

Source: http://www.porteno.com.au/images/uploads/porteno/galleries/gallery_01.jpg

4. Suzi Q Coffee & Records, Hutchinson St (http://www.suzieqcoffee.com.au/):
For the musos of Sydney, Suzi Q is your sanctuary for tune-age and great food. It’s not only an homage to musical artists and jazz players but also a fine place for a cup of coffee.

Source: https://www.broadsheet.com.au/media/cache/fa/69/fa694e1a859d0f117eb030906b1270eb.jpg


5. Bills, Crown St (http://www.bills.com.au/):
Bills is the ideal place to take your friends for a great brunch on a Saturday morning. I would highly recommend trying their infamous Scrambled Eggs or Ricotta Hotcakes with Honeycomb Butter.

Source: http://hollylinfood.weebly.com/#/
Source: http://hollylinfood.weebly.com/#/

6. Bodega Tapas, Commonwealth St (http://www.bodegatapas.com/):
Bodega is Porteno’s trendy little sister –  an experimental latino restaurant that is well known for its top-knotch plating and stylish variations of tapas.

Source: https://www.timeout.com/sydney/restaurants/bodega-tapas-restaurant-bar#tab_panel_2
Source: https://www.timeout.com/sydney/restaurants/bodega-tapas-restaurant-bar#tab_panel_2

 Blacksmith, Chalmers St (https://www.facebook.com/blacksmithsurryhills/):
Blacksmith is a local watering hole for Surry Hill residents – from the workers to the creatives. A great place for coffee, lunch with friends or even a place for a few beers after work.

Source: http://static.wixstatic.com/media/

8. Beresford Hotel, Bourke St (http://merivale.com.au/theberesfordhotel): The Beresford Hotel is more than just your average pub on a Saturday night. It’s a gorgeous venue with a courtyard with food served at the front and a whole lot of partying in the back. A great place to bring your friends for a bite to eat, a few drinks and maybe a post-dinner dancing sesh.

Source: http://www.sydneynightlife.com.au/wp-content/uploads/venue/profile_image/full/faccc_Bero_prof.jpg
Source: http://www.sydneynightlife.com.au/wp-content/uploads/venue/profile_image/full/faccc_Bero_prof.jpg

9. Mum’s Table, Elizabeth St (http://www.mumstablesh.com/): For a cheeky Vietnamese fix, Mum’s Table on Elizabeth gives you an authentic home-made style lunch filled with an array of Vietnamese staple dishes such as pho and vermicelli. Take your friends there, it’s almost un-PHO-gettable.
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10. Shakespeare Hotel, Devonshire St (http://shakespearehotel.com.au/): To eat or not to eat, that isn’t really a question at the Shakespeare Hotel. It’s a quaint little antique space offering a choice of reasonably-priced daily lunch specials and cheap drinks during happy hours.
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Home-made Pancake Recipe

Put down that pre-made pancake mix bottle. You are not serving that to your family. I can teach you the simplest way to treat you and your loved ones to a quick home-made style pancake breakfast.

– 2 eggs
– 1 tsp of vanilla extract
– 2 cups of self-raising or all-purpose flour
– 1/3 cup of caster sugar
– 1  3/4 cup milk
– 3/4 baking soda
– butter (melted)

1. Dry ingredients: Sift flour and baking soda into a large mixing bowl.
Wet ingredients: whisk together egg, milk and melted butter.
2. Create a well in the centre of your dry ingredients and put your wet ingredients in the middle and mix well with a whisk until lumps disappear.
3. Heat a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and grease with cooking oil. Scoop mixture in a 1/4 cup per pancake onto the pan and cook pancakes for 2 minutes or flip when bubbles appear.
4. Repeat with remaining mixture by spray cooking oil between batches.
5. Serve your pancakes with a choice of fruit, maple syrup and maybe ice cream. Enjoy!

The Breakfast Club

Thanks to social media, breakfast has become more than just a basic plate full of bacon and eggs. Thanks to our smart phones, we have redefined what it really means to eat our first meal of the day. We find ourselves tediously poaching our eggs, peppering our smashed avocado, toasting our sourdough bread before documenting and posting our food on Instagram like some sort of weird scrapbook hashtagging our way to popularity. But whether we like it or not, we are all part of that food culture now.

From my own foodie adventures, I’ve gathered a list of examples which celebrate that Instagram culture:

The Grounds (Alexandria) http://thegrounds.com.au/
The Grounds Of Alexandria is a hipster paradise where everyone takes flatlays of their food. It’s a gorgeous place split into three unique districts: “The Cafe”, “The Potting Shed” and “The Garden” where you have a choice in where you want to eat. You can wonder around the garden, purchase a few (expensive) beautiful pastries and home-grown flowers at the market place and even stop by the petting zoo to pat some animals because why not.

Dr Faustus (Surry Hills)
Eating at Dr Faustus cafe is like eating at a vintage roadshow. The interior is filled with antique furniture and quaint baubles and you find yourself travelling back in time as you enjoy your morning coffee in what appears to be similar to grandpa’s basement.
Screen Shot 2016-08-01 at 2.27.49 AM

Devon Cafe (Surry Hills/Waterloo) http://www.devoncafe.com.au/
Tucked inside the heart of Devonshire street, Devon Cafe is an adorable spot to enjoy strong coffee and good food. Recommended for a quick feed with friends or a place to bring work colleagues for meetings.
Screen Shot 2016-07-31 at 11.04.34 PM

The Usual Cafe (Cabramatta) http://www.theusualcafe.com.au/
Cabramatta is the last place you’d expect to have an “aesthetic” brunch date with your friends. But The Usual Cafe does breakfast and coffee with style and for a very affordable price.  
Screen Shot 2016-07-31 at 9.52.01 PM

Hall And Oatmeal Cookies Recipe

There’s nothing really exciting about eating oatmeal. Most of the time it’s like eating glue. You know all the health benefits of eating oatmeal, but you’re still not convinced even after adding a drizzle of honey. Well, have no fear because I have a tasty and chewy cookie recipe that could spice up your oatmeal life.(PS: this recipe has no affiliation with the musical duo ‘Hall and Oates’, it’s just a friendly pun)

Screen Shot 2016-08-01 at 3.03.47 AM


3 eggs (beaten)
1 tsp of vanilla
1 cup of butter
1 cup of brown sugar
1 cup of white sugar
2   1/2 cups of flour
1 tsp of salt
1 tsp of cinammon
2 tsp of baking soda
2 cups oatmeal
3/4 cup of chopped nuts


  1. Mix eggs and vanilla together and let it stand for 1 hour.
  2. Cream together butter and sugar.
  3. Add flour, salt, cinnamon and soda and mix.
  4. Blend in egg-raisin mixture, oatmeal, and chopped nuts.
  5. Dough will stiffen.
  6. Heap teaspoons of dough mixture onto ungreased cookie baking paper. Roll into balls and flatten slightly onto tray.
  7. Bake at 176 degrees celsius until brown, dark and chewy (12-13 minutes).
  8. Cool your cookies on a cooling rack and enjoy these bad boys.

Potassi-YUM: The Most A-PEELING Banana Bread Recipe

Do you have a lot of old bananas at home and you’re not quite sure what to do with them? Make use of those ageing bananas and try my awesome banana bread recipe.  

– 140g of softened butter
– 140g of caster sugar
– 2 large eggs (beaten)
– 140g of self-raising flour
– 2 very ripe bananas (mashed)
– 1 tsp of baking powder


1. Start by preheating your oven to 180°C. Butter a loaf tin and line the base and sides with baking paper.
2. Cream butter and sugar until it’s light and fluffy before slowly adding a bit of flour and eggs. Add the rest of the remaining flour, banana and baking powder.
3. Pour contents into the loaf tin and bake your 30 mins. To check if your bread is ready, use a skewer to pierce the skin. Withdraw the skewer to check if the skewer is clean. The bread should be ready if the skewer does not contain any crumbs.
4. Cool in the tin for 10 mins then transfer the bread onto a wire rack.
5. Eat it. Taste your hard work.

Blueberry Pie Recipe For Your Pie Hole

Do you love pies?

Oh no, not like that. Do you enjoy more than just eating a pie reheated from a frozen food box? Well put away your savoury meat pies and ketchup packets, because I’ve got a delicious sweet pie recipe for you to try out.

6 cups of fresh blueberries (washed and dried)
2 (prepared) 9-inch pie crusts
3/4 – 1 cup sugar
3 – 4 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1 large egg yolk whisked with 1 tablespoon warm water (for glaze)


  1. Roll out one of the pie crusts to a diameter of 12 to 13 inches and transfer it to a 9-inch pie. Tuck it into the corners of the pan. Place the pie pan into the fridge and chill the crust for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 220°c while the crust is chilling.
  3. Mix blueberries, 3/4 cup of sugar, 3 tablespoons cornstarch, lemon zest and lemon juice together in a separate bowl. Stir until sugar dissolves into a goo and let the berries soften on the counter for 15-30 minutes.
  4. Remove pie crust from the fridge and pour berries inside. Roll out the second pie crust to a diameter of 11 to 12 inches and gently lay it over the top of your pie. Trim the edges to make them even, then tuck the edges under themselves and crimp. Slice a few vent holes (in the shape of an ‘x’)  in the top pie crust and brush egg yolk on the top.
  5. Place the pie onto a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Turn the oven temperature down to 180°C and continue baking for another 30-40 minutes, until the berry juices are bubbling and the top crust is golden brown.
  6. Remove the pie from the oven and let it cool for at least 4 hours before serving.Screen Shot 2016-07-29 at 3.04.48 PM
    7. And voilá! Enjoy your crusty blueberry creation with 8-10 of your friends (or enjoy all of it by yourself).