Sydney Good Eats: Brunch

October 24, 2014 § 2 Comments


It is almost the weekend, which means it’s time to start thinking about making brunch plans if you haven’t done so already! For those who know me, it is no secret that brunch is my favorite meal of the day. I only realized my love for all things brunch-related when I went off to college in Baltimore because of all the great local brunch options.

Reasons why brunch is the best meal of the day:

  • More sleep (much needed in college)
  • Wide variety of foods– breakfast/lunch, sweet/savory, hot/cold, etc.
  • Excuse to dress up a little more than usual
  • Creative menu options

The last point refers to the innovative foods I often see on brunch menus. I love trying novel flavor combinations or twists on classic dishes. In fact, I look for those things when I am researching new brunch spots (the type of research I wouldn’t mind doing all day).

Sydney (especially Surry Hills, Newtown, and Glebe) is known for its impressive brunch scene so I naturally made it my goal to check out as many delicious cafes as possible during my semester abroad here. I’m sharing with you some of my favorite brunch spots that I have been to so far.

1. Kawa

348 Crown Street, Surry Hills

One of my Australian friends, Sarah, took me to Kawa for a casual brunch in the beginning of the semester. We met through a mutual friend and instantly bonded over our love for food. In fact, I went to all of the brunch spots covered in this post because Sarah recommended them to me.

Kawa is a small, cute cafe in Surry Hills, which is technically a suburb of Sydney. I love the vibe, especially from sitting at the outdoor tables, where you can people/dog watch and take in the unique sights of Surry Hills. Many of Kawa’s menu options use organic ingredients, which I always appreciate, and they offer a variety of fresh juices.

Based on Sarah’s recommendation, I ordered the Organic Chicken Meatball sandwich, which Kawa is famous for.

photo 1

It was definitely a great choice. The flavors within the sandwich worked well together and kept it from being boring. I was surprised to find that the chicken meatballs were cold because when I think of a typical meatball sandwich back in the States, they are usually served hot. Nevertheless, the meatballs were delicious, lean, and tender. The sandwich was also served with tomato jam, lettuce, and thinly sliced cucumbers. When I finished eating, I was left feeling satisfied but not overly stuffed, which was a good thing because I was heading over to Bourke St. Bakery for some sweet treats (more on this bakery in a future post). Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed Kawa for its atmosphere and food and hope I have a chance to go again and try some of its juices.

2. bills

359 Crown Street, Surry Hills 

I was so excited when I got to have brunch at Bills with Alwyn, one of my flatmates, especially since we both love cafes. Bills is one of those places where you either have to get there early in the morning or endure the long wait in the queue because it is famous for having great, high quality food. Alwyn and I ended up waiting about one and a half hours but it went by pretty quickly because there are heaps of cute shops and specialty markets along Crown Street.

photo 2 photo 3

To start off the meal, I ordered almond milk spiced chai, which was brought out with honey on the side. I am always impressed with how tea is served in Sydney because it demonstrates great attention to detail and makes it feel extra special as opposed to just receiving hot water and a tea bag. The chai was not overly sweet, had a good amount of spice in it, and nicely tied me over until the food came.

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We split an order of toasted coconut bread with butter. I wouldn’t consider myself a coconut lover but I really liked this bread because it had a hint of sweetness and an underlying coconut flavor. I am such a sucker for good, warm bread with butter as well.

photo 4

I ordered the famed ricotta hotcakes with bananas and honeycomb butter. They were incredible- light and fluffy, just as hotcakes should be. The bananas and honeycomb butter were such great accompaniments that I don’t think I used any additional syrup. I was full while there were still some remaining hotcakes but I trudged on because I didn’t want any of it to go to waste.

I highly recommend going to Bills, although you may have to prepare to wait in a long queue.

3. Shenkin Kitchen

129 Enmore Road, Enmore 

When my family was visiting me in late August, we went to Shenkin Kitchen for brunch with Sarah and another friend, John. It was my first time having a Middle Eastern-inspired brunch and I absolutely loved it. Almost everything on the menu was different than anything I’ve ever had before and it all sounded amazing, which made choosing a dish a whole ordeal. Moreover, my family and I always coordinate our orders to ensure that everyone is getting something different so we can try more of the menu’s offerings.


I ended up ordering The Bite, which consists of an avocado falafel and poached egg with a smoky hollandaise sauce with sautéed mushrooms and toast on the side. I wasn’t exactly sure what an avocado falafel was when I ordered it but considering that I like both of them separately, I decided to give it a go.

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When I cut into the falafel, I was shocked to see half an avocado still intact underneath the falafel crust! I think it is such a cool and innovative concept. This dish was very satisfying because it was creamy from the avocado, salty and crunchy from the falafel outside, and rich from the runny yolk. The mushrooms were well-seasoned and I always love having toast to eat with runny yolks.

Everyone at the table really enjoyed their meal so I would highly recommend Shenkin Kitchen if you want an unconventional brunch experience consisting of innovative, flavorful food.

If you’re in the Sydney area and in the mood for brunch, which I always am, consider checking out these spots and comment below with how you liked them! Also, if you have a favorite brunch spot that you are willing to divulge, share it in the comment section!


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