359 Crown St 
Surry Hills, NSW
For all the raving I’ve done about the food in Sydney, I haven’t forgotten about Melbourne. After all, who could forget the hipster cafes, hidden laneways, and excellent brunch on every other street corner? So it was with a mixture of nostalgia (already!) and curiosity that Chris and I visited Bills, one of the most-lauded brunch spots in Sydney, to see how it stacks up against home. 
Step inside Bills, and the difference between Melbourne and Sydney are thrown into stark contrast. Bills was all clean lines and bright furniture, with everything in its right place. The staff were polite but not as bubbly, and there was not a single hipster beard or tattoo to be seen!
Ricotta Hotcakes ($20)
I was most excited to try Bill Granger’s famous Ricotta Hotcakes($20), served with a banana, a disc of honeycomb butter, and an entire pot of maple syrup. I won’t deny it – these were delicious. The pillowy hotcakes were delightfully decadent with lashings of maple syrup and the salty-sweet butter, but didn’t leave you feeling over-indulged.
Ricotta Hotcakes ($20)
To look at it from another angle however, these were nothing remarkable, and I could probably be equally as satisfied had I ordered the same thing from Pancake Parlour. 
Sweetcorn Fritters ($21.5)
Less raved about, but just as adored, are the Sweetcorn Fritters($21.5) – two golden patties of juicy corn kernels that were barely held in check by the light, crisp batter. Interspersed with herbs and capsicum, I can honestly say these were some of the nicest fritters I’ve had.
Sweetcorn Fritters ($21.5)
Not so good unfortunately were the sides. The single rasher of accompanying bacon was undercooked and supremely unsatisfying, the raw spinach leaves would’ve done a lot better had they been wilted, and the half of a roasted tomato seemed almost like a soggy afterthought. Thank god for the fritters.
The price of the food at Bills is rather high, which would have been justified if the food was phenomenal, and though I found our meal to be tasty, it was quite run-of-the-mill. It’s not that the meal was bad, but having been spoilt by Melbourne’s choice and creativity, it really doesn’t stack up. If I were to move to Sydney for anything, it would not be for the brunch.
Rating: 13/20 – poor sydney-siders.
This rating reflects my personal experience at the time of visit.

Bills on Urbanspoon

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  • Reply Em 10/01/2014 at 4:06 am

    We enjoyed the corn fritters and hotcakes at the Woolhara Bill’s almost four years ago, but last year I had terrible eggs and bacon at the Crown street venue. Wouldn’t bother again. Still love his cookbooks though!

    • Reply ming 11/01/2014 at 10:52 am

      I’m in two minds about Bills; the food is definitely nice but it’s just nothing on what we have here in Melbourne. I got a couple of recipe cards off them too, and I definitely want to try them – mmm eggplant lasagne!

  • Reply Liz 14/01/2014 at 4:25 am

    Saw your site on Urbanspoon and clicked the link….your photos are amazing!!!! Keep up the good work! :) Hope you live the dream of being paid to eat/review (all our dreams).

    We do have many places for brekkie in Sydney (esp Surry Hills)…but yeah, most stuff does tend to be on the $$ side!!

    • Reply ming 20/01/2014 at 9:34 am

      Hi Liz, thanks so much for dropping by! I’m glad you like my photos… just don’t scroll back too far or you’ll get to iphone photos somewhere in 2012!

      I know I’m probably not doing the Sydney brunch scene much justice; we didn’t have much time so we really had to pick and choose what to eat but, once I go back i’ll definitely try more Melbourne’s sister city has to offer :)

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