Despite the fact that uni students go to class for about 12 hours a week, when I was going through my uni years, there was always something happening. Sport…doing an assignment…working a part-time job…studying like the nerd I was (am)…recovering from a big night out. I always thought to myself “I can’t wait until I start work, apart from the working week I’ll have so much time to myself on weekends”. I’m sure I never told a grown-up person that, because they probably would have scoffed at me, mercilessly.
Now that I am a real, bona fide grown up, myself, I finally realise that those days of leisure during uni are only to be repeated the day I retire. So, for the first weekend in far too many weekends that I had nothing planned, I thought “what the hell” and treated myself to a deliciously, delightfully, care free lazy brunch.
My housemate and I went to a spot halfway down the hill from hell, Bangbang espresso bar and cafe, in Surry Hills.
11:30am in Surry Hills and its prime trendy brunch time. We had actually planned on going to Rueben Hills, a couple of streets over, but facing what was looking like a 40+ minute wait we brought out our ghetto voices, saying “hellllll no” and cantered off to Bangbang. I’ll admit I was sceptical upon seeing it. The interior looked sort of like there weren’t enough tables/chairs to fill the place and create that sought-after “buzz” and the cake cabinet looked overpriced ($4.50 for a bite-sized gluten free cake??) and nothing special (chocolate crackles. Cute, but really?).
I ate my words as soon as I saw the menu. In my rush of hunger and drool I failed to take a picture of it, thinking I could later return to their website (…there is none) and describe some of the fantastic-sounding dishes. From memory…potato rosti with spinach and poached egg, muesli “trifle”, the standard bacon and eggs, a big breakfast, a scottish breakfast (complete with black pudding!), french toast with mascarpone and fruit. With this being one of the most difficult decisions I’ve had to make all week (first world problems), I (and my housemate) settled on toasted brioche with onion jam, chorizo, avocado and coriander mash and rocket ($16.50) as well as a soy cappucino and a chai latte (…obviously).
No complaints about the coffee. Apparently the milk was not “nutty” as other soy caps have been in the past. My chai latte was fantastic.
Somewhat bizzarely, it tasted exactly like the Punjabi Chai I bought from Mrs Oldbuck’s pantry in Berrima (…as you do), which I really do love. It had such a nice spicy flavour and plenty of ginger. Brewed in the pot, it was a very generous serve, filling 2 glasses and served with a cute pot of honey and a strainer on the side.
There was a bit of a wait for the brunches, but I’m fairly certain the cooks were about to collapse from the sheer business of the morning, so I’ll cut them a bit of slack for that.
Upon first glance, it was a fairly small serve. But thinking about it, I’d call it an appropriately-sized, non-obese serve. But I tell you what, the flavours just exploded. The avocado mash was chunky, generous and fresh, packed with fresh coriander leaves.
The brioche was ever so slightly on the oily side, but was topped with a sweet, dense, caramelly onion jam and topped with charred, thick slices of spicy chorizo and a perfectly poached egg. The decent handful of spicy rocket on top was a nice touch. The charred wedge of lime that accompanied was a nice, caramelly addition, which really freshened the whole dish and really worked to make the slightly oily brioche far less noticeable.
The great things about Bangbang were that all of the dishes looked incredible – I may actually break my no-restaurant-repeats rule and go back and try some of the other brunches (the lunch menu, from 12pm-3pm held its own as well!); the staff were still polite and efficient, and despite the rush we were given as much time as we wanted, without feeling pressured to get the hell out of there (as so many busy restaurants make you feel).
Bangbang, I was sceptical at first, but boy did I change my mind. You know what? I will definitely be back.
Bangbang Espresso Bar and Cafe
113 Reservoir Street
Surry Hills NSW 2010