I think Sydneysiders are becoming increasingly spoilt for choice when it comes to dining out options. On a Sunday night in Surry Hills hubby and I couldn’t decide where to go. Some of my best food memories are from this suburb (Marque quickly springs to mind - but we wonder by and it’s not open tonight). Walking along Crown Street, I saw the name “Mille Vini”. Recognising it from my constant readership of the SMH’s Good Living, I am eager to walk in - particularly when I see the funky decor and dark mood lighting inside.
397 Crown Street
Surry Hills, 2010
(02) 9357 3366
Dinner for 2: To start, we had the arancini, calamari, and a chicken parfait w/ terrine. For mains, we ordered two of the pastas. It ended up being a take-away and run.
Verdict: After all the hype, I was disappointed. Perhaps coming just for drinks would be a more enjoyable experience next time.
Looking back, I probably could have avoided what transpired that Sunday night. Hubby and I tend to have a habit of over-ordering and becoming overly excited when we see menus. If only we had begun more slowly…
The starters we ordered were all disappointing from my humble point of view. The arancini, while cripsy on the outside and well made, was on the bland side and rather uninspiring. The calamari was overcooked, and there was a shard of something (I don’t think squids have bones?) sharp that I found in the dish. The terrine I didn’t even touch – that was Hubby’s order but he left most of it on the plate. Part of the aggravation was the slow service of the waitress, who looked tired and unenthusiastic.
By this stage, we were so disheartened that we wanted to cancel our mains, pay and eat elsewhere. We were told that we couldn’t cancel at this point in time, so we asked if we could get it boxed for take-away instead. This they agreed to, and we couldn’t get away from there fast enough.
Bills, Surry Hills
359 Crown Street
Surry Hills, 2010
(02) 9360 4762
(Second) Dinner for 2: I had salmon fish cakes as a main, and he ordered the chicken schnitzel.
Verdict: Simple food executed very well.
This time round, we found what we were looking for: a nice hearty meal with quick service. Being rather full from our previous foray down the road, we didn’t get the chance to sample much of the menu. I’d been to Bills for breakfast before (ricotta hotcakes and scrambled eggs), but never dinner. Happily, the formula is the same: seasonal produce combined with a fresh, simple cooking philosophy.
I enjoyed my fish cakes (the green goddess dressing was beautiful) but I enjoyed hubby’s chicken schnitzel more. Bills’ version was parmesan crumbed, organic, and served with a creamy mash. Delicious! At least our Surry Hills venture ended on a good note :)