Reuben Hills

In the waning days of my sabbatical, I’ve been enjoying the sunshine, cooking, going to yoga, seeing films etc. I’ve always loved seeing films by myself (unless they’re comedies) for some reason. The ol’ drawing thing has been happening too which pleases me. Expect more sketches to be posted in the coming week. All drawings will be textless posts.

Outside the cafe

Streetside stools - apologies for the crappy iPhone photo

This week I also wanted to try a cafe in Surry Hills called Reuben Hills that opened on 1st January, 2012. They roast their own coffee which they also sell wholesale and there are coffee tastings run every Friday at 10am. While I can still go on a weekend, I like cafes during the week when it’s quieter. Maybe it’s the luxury of having nowhere to rush to and people-watching that makes me feel like I’m holiday.

Apart from the coffee, the food specialty seems to be the baleada which is a large folded wheat tortilla, that apparently hails from Honduras. But I can’t go to a place called Reuben Hills without trying their reuben sandwich. Unless I turned vegetarian.

It was a humid day on Thursday so I couldn’t didn’t feel like a hot coffee. While not on the menu, I had an iced long black with no sugar. The milkshakes there are meant to be fantastic but I can never drink a milkshake and have a meal too. How do people manage that? The drink is a meal in itself! An icy, creamy, sweet meal.

Toasted reuben sandwich with fresh radish wedges

Toasted reuben sandwich with fresh radish wedges

This isn’t your typical Reuben. It’s made with wagyu brisket and the meat seems to be sliced, THEN grilled before being piled onto the toasted rye bread (from Brasserie Bread) with cheese, pickles and slaw. It is in one word, delicious. I also really liked the large radish wedges on the side that had been simply dressed with celery salt. If you want an absolutely classic reuben, then this isn’t it but I did like their version.

Inside the reuben

Inside the reuben

I sat at the communal table down the back as the cafe is far more spacious and airy than you’d think from the outside. The guy opposite me had walked in, said hello to the owners and sat down, asking for the baleada “you know, the one I’ve been having lately”. Which brings me to the most appealing part of Reuben Hills apart from the good, simple food. The service is so friendly and helpful, yet relaxed. Maybe it’s just me but I really like chatting to people in restaurants and shops and on the street and… Oh. Oh I see. I must be very talkative.


I’m not going to do regular reviews of restaurants on the blog but my friend Kitty loves a good reuben so this is for her.

Maybe I’ll just have the black sesame or salted caramel milkshake next time. Or the baleada or the “doggs breakfast” which is an ice cream sandwich with salted caramel. Hmm, might just have to stay away for the sake of my health.

Seriously though, if I worked nearby, I would go to Reuben Hills all the time.

Reuben Hills
61 Albion St, Surry Hills NSW 2010
Open 7 days, 7am – 4pm
Phone: (02) 9211 5556