Sydney, Australia: Reuben Hills Review

Jared writes about food & travel, psychology & wellbeing for UK magazines and blogs. In 2014 he completed an MA on the psychology of hunger. In 2016 he’s running a series of events titled Jared founded Foodstinct.


On first glance I thought I could immediately size this place up. Polished concrete. Exposed services. Enamel plates. Big open kitchen area and fancy neon lighting fixtures. Then the staff sealed the deal: “We get kind of busy so you need to wait till your party has arrived”. That was the final clincher. I had a flash back to the queue at bubblesdog in London, and the memories of my early 20s and casual no fuss brunches with fresh Aussie produce faded away. I was open to a different experience, but would have been more so if I was offered a coffee or a menu to wait. Or if half the café weren’t empty at the moment I was rebuffed. Or if it weren’t 11am on a Thursday.

There was almost no faulting of the food.


We spent five minutes trying to figure out the sweet scented flavour in the poached pears. Considering there were three of us, all intellectual foodie wankers, this was impressive.


The Baleada (kind of like a big, soft taco), with eggs, queso fresco, black beans had a lightness I didn’t expect for such a rich sounding dish. There was a creamy space between mouthfuls, but the black beans delivered with a mildly spicy kick.


The salt caramel milkshake, perhaps their most spoken about menu item packed a rich sticky punch. Not for everyday consumption, but a real treat (and experience) nonetheless.


The only let down was the heirloom tomato salad. Even after weeding out some less than fresh rocket leaves, it was a little lack lustre.

After some initial apprehension, I enjoyed Reuben hills. It was a nice experience. But the honesty and memorability for me came from the ladies I was meeting, not from the place itself.

Go to Reuben hills for the novelty factor. Go so you can say you’ve been. Go to write a Reuben Hills Review. Try the salt caramel shake and then, when you’ve ticked the box go back, Sydney siders, to your honest, rustic, local cafe. It might have a bit less polish, but I’d imagine a lot more heart.

Foodstinct ♦ ♦ ♦ (3)
Non-meat options ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ (4)
Service ♦ ♦ (2)
Atmosphere ♦ ♦ ♦ (3)

Reuben HillsSurry Hills, Sydney
61 Albion St
Surry Hills 2010
Reviewer: Jared
January 9, 2013

Reuben Hills on Urbanspoon


  1. you have the makings of a top chef,… chef… if the company & laughter, takes precedence, like in Catalan. If you hadn’t started out there… Sydney would have been different experience.
    Regularly on Saturday night, I cook meat especially, for guests – better than in a restaurant.. Although personally – I ain’t too fussy. I love the smell, of it wafting,
    through the house….. for the company!
    No one crosses my doors, to hear – meat is forbidden – while in restaurants, it’s often the veg that’s rebuked and defiled. lol
    every one of your pics spoke to me, of good times!
    while we, expecting today – yes, that’s minus 28 celsius- lordy & s’truth! you.. warming the cockles of my heart… though, the ones in Catalan, didn’t look how I would do ’em.
    One good thing about being immigrant is, having a foot or a pen – in both doors, so to speak… but at times knowing, you don’t really quite fit in… either.
    Words, or pictures, speaking loudest.


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