Did your heart just skip a bit? Mine sure did when the waitress brings out these oh-so gorgeous wagyu beef burgers and lay it down in front of us.
We were spending Saturday afternoon checking out some of the exhibitions at 2 Danks Street Galleries and when it comes to lunch, the Danks Street Depot next door seems to be the obvious choice. Unfortunately a 40mins wait for a table is not what I am ready to anticipate. So, we hopped back into the car and went for Plan B. Well not that "plan B", but the popular breakky joint, Bills, just down the road on Crown Street in Surry Hills.
Bill Granger, the celebrity chef, the entrepreneur, who is famous for his cooking books, and also has his own TV shows, and his world renowned Bills restaurant has expanded to 3 locations - Surry Hills, Darlinghurst and Wollahra. Bills somehow has become a Sydney icon, even Nicole Kidman has mentioned it on Oprah that having breakfast at Bills is one of her favourite things to do in Australia.
Bills at Surry Hills is just as busy when we arrived, but at least the stream of customers seems to come and go constantly and tables always available in short wait. The restaurant is petite and tight squeeze, we managed to waddle our way through the crowd to our table in the center. Three large blackboards on the wall with a good selection of wine list from all regions around Australia, or if you fancy a bit of sparkly, the choices are never disappoint.
The waitress comes to take our drink order while we decide what to have for lunch, I simply can't go pass Bill's signature hot chocolate with Callebau. The chocolate buds are sticked to one side of the glass and slowly melting into the hot milk. It turns into seductive chocolate drink with a quick stir, it is rich and intense, will definitely bring a smile to your face and mend those broken hearts. I was hypnotized by watching the cocoa powder slowly sinking to the bottom like quick sand (Or those tacky Sandbilder).
The great selection of food on the lunch menu makes me mouth salivates. Surprisingly me and The Pom had both our mind set on the wagyu beef burgers, too easy. Somehow the burgers take the longest to come out as all other customers already having their food who arrived after us. When the burgers came out of the kitchen definitely caused a bit of stir in the restaurant and suddenly a lot of onlookers have their eyes fixed on our table, admiring the monstrosity. It is totally worth the wait!
The burger is standing tall with a nice chunk of wagyu beef pattie inside, sauteed sweet onions and Heidi Gruyere cheese melted on top (extra $3.80), then sealed proof with a nice soft bun, which is a bit charred on edges which I don't mind at all. The salad on the side is an explosion of psychedelic colours; the fresh red beetroot is sweet and with a bit of crunch to it, nice change from those overcooked floppy ones with red juice dripping everywhere, and the zucchini is pickled and spiced up in turmeric and turns "Kapow!" fluorescent yellow!
The tomato relish is more like a chilli jam, hot but not overpowering, a perfect dip to go with the herbed french fries. I was actually tempted to order the herbed french fries ($7.00), thank god I didn't! This fries are almost as good as those from Macdonald's, but with less salt and a sprinkle of chopped parsley.
The solid tough Heidi Gruyere cheese is very thick and hardly melted, but it is so creamy and nice nutty flavour. The Pom has chosen the simple cheddar which is totally melted and wrapped around the pattie. I only had a small sample of the wagyu beef burger from Becasse - Plan B at the Taste of Sydney media launch which I really didn't think much of it. Surprisingly I actually quite enjoyed this wagyu burger at Bills, which is juicy and tender. I think I will definitely need to go to Plan B next to do a comparison.
We didn't stay long while customers still pouring in. More galleries to go, and I already had my mind set on next place to visit for some sweet sweet chocolately lurve. :)
Bills - Surry Hills
359 Crown Street
Surry Hills NSW 2010 Australia
opening hour: every day from 7.00 to 22.00
T: +61 2 9360 4762