Traipsing through the back streets of Sydney’s old inner city suburbs you'd be forgiven for thinking you were in the middle of bustling New York City.
Brooklyn Hide; authentic bagels - boiled then baked.
Here, in the recently revived suburb of Surry Hills, just south of Sydney CBD, the wide boulevards and long open roads that Sydney-siders are used to give way to meandering alley ways; where parked cars make already narrow streets almost impossible to negotiate, the sound of car horns echo in the distance and the aroma of big city smog lingers in the air.
Industrial-chic at its finest.
Tucked away in one of these pokey little alley ways, on the corner of Commonwealth Street and Belmore Lane sits Brooklyn Hide; a hip little café that has made its mark on Sydney's culinary scene by introducing us to authentic ‘boil then bake’ bagels.
The homage to New York City continues throughout the décor.
Founded by Daniel Littlepage and Matthew Forsdike, Brooklyn Hide is an amalgamation of the owners’ shared love of the Big Apple - this love clearly represented through their food. Dedicated primarily to bagels, the menu at Brooklyn Hide covers every borough of New York City. Travel to The Bronx ($10) with a prosciutto, egg, tomato chutney and rocket creation or experience the comforting taste of corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and mustard mayo in Midtown ($10).
The traditional cream cheese and spring onion bagel.
While all the classic toppings, such as cream cheese, avocado and a selection of homemade jams are all available for your bagel, which comes in a choice of plain, poppy seed, rye, sourdough and blueberry ($5.50 -$ 8), it is the gourmet borough based bagels that really give you something to talk about.
A bagel for every borough - the Harlem.
First up, a taste of Harlem, with a spicy jerk chicken, cucumber, carrot and slaw bagel topped off with fresh cilantro - coriander to everyone not up with the American lingo. While this bagel promises big flavours, sadly it is lacking overall, and a little dry to boot.
Just as vibrant and eclectic as its namesake - the SoHo.
For something completely different take a taste trip to the trendy Manhattan neighbourhood of SoHo, renowned for its art galleries, architecture and upmarket boutique shopping. The SoHo ($10) stuffed with smoked salmon, Spanish onion, hummus, olive tapenade and caper berries works well as a representation of the eclectic and exotic nature of the neighbourhood and successfully balances bold flavours while still allowing the delicate fish to shine.
Coffee courtesy local roasters The Little Marionette.
While the bagels are fresh and delicious; the perfect balance between dense crumb, chewy texture, toasty crust and tasty fillings, and the coffee, courtesy of local roasters The Little Marionette is rich and aromatic, the service is mediocre to say the least - just extremely slow and generally disinterested. You can expect to wait a good 20 minutes for your sandwich, regardless of filling choice, and if you’re looking for a quick bite on-the-go, I’d probably look elsewhere, with the wait for a basic takeaway order clocking in at almost 15 minutes.
Despite this the Brooklyn Hide experience remains pleasant; the bagels are perfectly chewy and never tough, boasting fresh, generous fillings, and the décor is modern and hip, yet unpretentious and comfortable. So for a taste of authentic New York style bagels with genuinely innovative and inspired flavour combinations in Sydney, give Brooklyn Hide a go – just be prepared to wait a little while.
Where: 226 Commonwealth St, Surry Hills, 2010.
Why: Authentic New York style bagels with innovative and inspired flavour combinations.
Cost: $5.50 - $16.50.
When: Open Monday - Friday from 7.30 - 3.30. Saturday from 8.30 - 3. Closed Sunday.