Sydney is so diverse that its food identity is more or less everywhere. which is why when People ask me where to eat I usually point them in the direction of a decent burger joint, a Lebanese cafe bedecked with squashy cushions, a funky Korean restaurant or a Vietnamese hole in the wall for pho. But when it is brunch suggestions I really only come up with one. Bills. Bills aims to encapsulate a specific aesthetic of Australian dining. It feels slightly beachy, It is understated, a little pricey, clean and bright. I will always suggest brunch at Bills. It is a bit of an institution. There are three Bills restaurants to choose from; the original Bills, in Darlinghurst established in 1992 by Chef Bill Granger, the iconic cafe at Bondi or my personal favourite the Bills in Surry Hills.
Bills caters to everyone especially those who don't mind waiting 20 minutes for a table or paying $21.00 for hotcakes (I am both of these things) . I generally enjoy the wait - it just means extra time for a little wander around Surry Hills perving on bearded gentlemen or perusing the menu, sipping green juices or a quick venture into Sparkle Cupcakery (which is conveniently just up the road). I also enjoy spying on what other people are eating. I constantly flirt with the idea of getting a savory breakfast at Bills (the corn fritters really are very excellent!) but in the end the heart wants what the heart wants and the heart wants fluffy ricotta hotcakes drowning in syrup and honeycomb butter. If I am with the right people aka my housemate Ben we usually get a serve of hotcakes each then an extra plate to share. I have no shame
If sweet breakfasts are not your thing than I would recommend the scrambled eggs - creamy and soft, rich and cream heavy, they are pretty perfect. Or you could opt for the corn fritters. The chefs at Bills have mastered the art of fritters. Always crunchy, topped with bacon, roasted tomatoes and a fresh avacado salsa.
There is always an eclectic mix of people eating here. I, like many others go to nurse a hangover or to indulge in pancakes and decent coffee while reclining back and embarking on some solid people watching. You could write a novel on some of the locals around here.
I prefer to sit outside, my back to the wall and people watch as I drink a refreshing hibiscus and lime before i begin dismantling my hotcakes. There is always something to see whether is is the stunningly disheveled revelers and party goers limping home after an evidently splendid Friday night out, or a minor celebrity (I've seen Delta Goodrem and the Veronica's wandering these parts before). There are the usual suspects, leggy blondes in navy skinny jeans, aviators, and pony tails with a Iphone in one hand a pug on a leash in the other or the army of good looking men with competing beards, deep v's and top knots. I find these viewings and brunching rituals at Bills deeply calming and anchoring reminding me I'm home in Sydney. So if you are ever in Sydney and contemplating Brunch, Bills is the place to get to.