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Bills Cafe, Surry Hills

Home > Sydney > Cafes
by M (subscribe)
Published March 20th 2013
Don't trust google


Last Sunday I was celebrating the birthday of one of my closest friends here. Unfortunately I had work that night so I wanted to make the day as special as possible for her. We decided we would go for a nice brunch somewhere fancy to start off the day. After hours of googling and mouse clicking we found a million little cafes that had promising brunch options but we couldn't make up our mind. I'm a firm believer in trusting trip adviser for suggestions and recommendations.

So when I saw Bills, a little café in Surry Hills, as one of the recommendations I decided to give it a try. It had also popped up on my search engine multiple times as I typed in 'best places in Sydney for Brunch'. This had to be good right? All the signs were pointing towards it. So last Sunday just happened to be one of the colder days I've experienced in Sydney yet. We left our place around 11:00 and got there by 12:00, I think. Shivering and power walking our way to the restaurant we were determined to have a good meal and feed our empty growling stomachs.

But once we got there, a massive line followed in front of us. We were a bit surprised since we hadn't seen a queue like this one before even at the busiest places. Another friend commented 'look at the line, this place has to be amazing'. Well in hopes of it being amazing we waited. The birthday girl didn't look pleased but refused to leave after waiting in the cold for twenty minutes already.

The seats were all occupied inside and only the outdoor area had availability so we agreed to that as well. The décor was minimum - something I'm not a fan of. I like colours and welcoming designs. Simple just doesn't work for me, but I do get how some people are all for it. I just like places to have some unique features and character more so, since these are the places that leave a lasting impression on me due to their originality.

The host was exceptionally friendly and made everyone feel comfortable; she often made small talk with us while we waited. After an hour long wait (which is too long regardless of how great the place is) we finally got in. The food took another half an hour to arrive. So we were finally served breakfast at 1:00pm.

What surprised me most was the limited menu options: lunch had three choices and breakfast was as simple as it could be. The same friend who had commented about how great places have long queues once again said 'Great places also have limited menus'.

I was pretty disappointed by the menu and couldn't help but think I'd rather be at an un-great place with no waiting time and a wide variety of food options. I settled for scrambled eggs and toast, while some of our friends got sandwiches and burgers. They definitely got points for presentation since the food looked great but tasted just 'okay'.

The eggs I had waited two hours for could have easily been made by me a not so great cook within five minutes and would cost me less than two dollars. Everyone else said they ate their food super quickly due to the hunger pangs rather than the quality of the food served.

So I've lost a little faith in search engines and Google's advice on 'the best brunch place in Sydney'. I still haven't found the best yet and I don't think I'll be returning to bills again especially not for the birthday of a loved one. So my hunt continues and I'll keep you posted as soon as I discover my 'must visit breakfast place'. But in case you are wondering things did get better, we ended up going to a pretty awesome pub that turned the direction our day was headed.
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When: Breakfast
Your Comment
Everyone knows you go to Bills for their ricotta hotcakes or their corn fritters, so I wouldn't expect too much if you decided to choose eggs or sandwiches.
by mw90 (score: 0|2) 2340 days ago
Trattoria in Bondi is a beautiful place to go for any meal :)
by julz_ (score: 0|2) 2340 days ago
Umm, complain much MJ? Go out for breakfast and order eggs and then complain about having to pay for eggs for breakfast? Turn up at a cafe for "brunch" at midday and have to wait 1 hour then another half an hour for the food to be served but you got your meals at 1:00pm...you might want to double check your maths there pumpkin...complaining about the weather/cold climate I see, I'm sure if you phoned ahead Bill Granger could have organised a warmer day for you. If you like colours & a welcoming design go to McDonalds...they're friendly, and serve eggs (only until 10:30) so you will have to be a little more organised. I feel you either have unrealistic expectations, are impossible to please or just love the sound of your own voice. Jeezus!
by mpcoy (score: 0|2) 2337 days ago
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