Surry Hills is a creative, vibrant and quirky suburb, located on the southern fringe of Sydney and ticks all the boxes as one of the best culinary spots in Sydney. There's plenty of terrace houses, cafes, bars and eclectic food spots and it's a great suburb for people watching and vintage shopping. I'd suggest making a day of it and allow yourself time to explore and take it all in.
From the team that brought you The Soda Factory, you'll find Rosie Campbell's is a popular and friendly oasis for locals and visitors, serving irresistible Caribbean-inspired dishes full of flavour and a rum-rich cocktail menu that will keep you happy.
We arrived at the cheerful blue and yellow building that is Rosie Campbell's on the corner of Crown and Campbell streets, Surry Hills. It's an easy 15-minute walk from Central Station via Reservoir Street or about 10 minutes-walk from Museum Station.
It was all smiles...You can expect the some of the friendliest service in Sydney and spot on staff suggestions from the menu.
The drink menu was exciting. Featuring rum from all over the world, including Jamaica, Nicaragua, Scotland, Spain and Columbia, so make sure to ask for the full rum list. Rosie's caters for everyone though, so if rum's not your thing, there's plenty of other cocktails for you enjoy.
We ordered the Coco Colada and the Butterfly Ting. The Butterfly Ting ($19.00) is non-rum choice, but a pretty purple-hued light and fragrant cocktail, made up of Tanqueray gin, lavender Monin, butterfly-pea flower extract, with mint, rosemary and lemon.
The Coco Colada ($20.00) served in a coconut shell. Bati dark rum with a pimento infusion, Coco Lopez, banana liqueur, pineapple, banana chips, served with toasted coconut. Both drinks went well with the dishes we ordered.
Other enticing rum-based drinks on offer: The Good Old-Fashioned Joint, ($21.00) for example, is house barrel blended rum, spiced maple, pear, porcini reduction, cinnamon. Another cocktail, the Corn & Cane Caramel ($19.00) contains double oaked bourbon, spiced rum, salted caramel batter, popcorn reduction.
There's also various beers, wines, punch and frozen cocktails on the drinks menu too
The menu has something for everyone. We found dishes full of creativity, bringing the flavours of the Caribbean out to play.
Think coconut, lime, jerk spice, roti, plantains, salsas, coriander and curry with a twist. There are small and large share plates on offer, plus salads, burgers, sides and sweet things.
The Sunshine Fritters ($14.00) (VG/GF) are Jalapeno fritters with mango salsa (the perfect comfort food) or for something more substantial, try the Rastafarian Poke Bowl ($16.00) (VG/GF) made up of coconut rice, black beans, sweet potato, avocado, grilled peppers, pineapple salad, roasted corn, peas, radish, coconut chilli dressing. For something a little more indulgent, you'd might want to try the Island Bao ($18.00) Caribbean steamed buns with your choice of filling: Jerk grilled chicken, pineapple chutney, jerk sauce beef short rib, banana jerk BBQ, coleslaw or roasted cauliflower, chimichurri, jerk aioli. Plenty of choice.
We ordered the Caribbean Curry (Vegan) ($19.00) upon a solid recommendation from the staff and it was delicious. A tasty and comforting, crispy grilled cauliflower, yellow curry sauce, peas, coconut flat bread. The cauliflower sits in a palate-stimulating, warm, zingy curry sauce – I loved the grilled flat bread – Great for mopping up the sauce.
The Watermelon Salad ($10.00) (VG/GF) was ordered for the table to share which is a salad of freshly cut watermelon, avocado, radish, pickled green chili, coriander. A very refreshing dish with the other food we ordered.
My fellow diner ordered the World Famous Chargrilled Jerk Chicken ($22.00) after asking our waiter what the standout dish at Rosie's was. This is jerk spiced barbeque chicken thigh, with pineapple salsa, cassava crisps, jerk sauce.
The dessert menu has three options for you to try (if you have room) Perhaps those who order dessert first are onto something? Choose from Banoffee Pie ($14.00) (V) vanilla rum cake, coconut & caramel plantains, brownie crumb chocolate shavings and vanilla cream, Rosie's Signature Rum Cake ($14.00) (V) homemade warm rum cake with coconut caramel and smashed honeycomb, vanilla bean ice cream, or the Good Vibrations Brownie ($14.00) (V) homemade chocolate brownie, chocolate and black rum sauce, mixed red berries, coconut ice cream.
Great value when sides start from $8.00 and share plates start at $14.00, mains from $18.00 - $34.00 which is excellent value in Sydney, especially if you're sharing a few dishes. The cocktails range from $18.00 - $21.00 each.
Currently, these fun deals are available throughout the week: (Check the website as these may change)
Mondays - The Monday Jerk Off every week featuring $12.00 Jerk Eats and reggae tunes from 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm Tuesdays - Wings for $1.00 every Tuesday Wednesdays - Coco Wednesdays $12.00 Coconut Margaritas (All night) $15.00 Coco Coladas (All night) Thursdays - Rum & Reggae – Live reggae with $10.00 Rude Boy Rum Punch (All night) $15.00 Spice N Stormy's (All night) Sundays - Roots & Toots DJ's from 3:00 pm until late with $10.00 Rude Boy Rum Punch all day, $12 Frozen Dark N' Stormy's Frozen Margarita's - All day plus $1.00 Jerk Wings -12:00 pm until late Happy Hour Every Day from 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm - $5.00 Red Stripe Jamaican Lagers, $5.00 House Wines, $16.00 Cocktails
Functions and events:
For your next special dinner or cocktail function enjoy delicious food and tasty drinks only 10 minutes from the heart of Sydney's bustling CBD. With options for all dietary needs, it's an easy choice and a great location. Rosie's have capacity for 80 - 100 people, depending on the configuration. Function details can be found here.
Saturday - 12:00 pm–12:00 am Sunday - 12:00 pm–12:00 am Monday - 4:00 pm–12:00 am Tuesday - 4:00 pm–12:00 am Wednesday - 4:00 pm–12:00 am Thursday - 4:00 pm–12:00 am Friday - 12:00 pm–12:00 am
Rosie Campbell's is fun, vibrant and full of character. Serving enjoyable and tasty food, with chefs who have taken traditional Caribbean cuisine and expertly balanced it with modern, flavoursome flourishes.
The menu is cleverly designed to share, the flavour combinations complement each other and there are tasty options for all dietary requirements. The sauces were especially tasty, with spicy, sweet notes and each dish highlights their use of fresh produce.
After a weekend where we dined out more than once, this is the place we are still talking about.