This tiny little Surry Hills cafe holds a treasure trove of menu items for breakfast and lunch. They are famous for their Bosphorus Benedict, made with lobster and avocado on Turksih toast as well as Benedict specials like wagyu and abalone. Start the meal with a tiny Turkish coffee served with Haci Bekir Turkish Delight direct from Turkey (the brand being the birthplace of Turkish delight) and end the meal with a Nutella filled gozleme!
I don't know about you Dear Reader, but I can hardly keep up with the Sydney food scene. When it seems one place opens, dozens do so straight afterwards and I simply don't have the tummy space to try them all. Even on Crown Street in Surry Hills, a mere five minute's drive from where we live has sat a cafe for three years. I had driven past it numerous times and yet I had no idea of the treasures that lay on the menu.
Rustic Pearl is a small cafe with a small kitchen and eat-in area as well as an outside area. Located opposite The Clock Hotel it's a narrow place almost dwarfed in size by the two adjoining eateries. Nevertheless it's popular especially on weekends. Patrons put down their name, party size and phone number on the clipboard and the cafe calls when a table is ready. There are enough cute little boutiques around the area and opportunities to people watch and we end up waiting for about 20 minutes for our table.
"Benedicts are my favourite breakfast," said Belinda one day and I knew that that should be where we would head for Sunday break, post Halloween. Because what Rustic Pearl does in spades are benedicts. Their most well known one is the Bosphorus Benedict, a benedict served on Turkish toast with Bay lobster and avocado. There are also other options for benedict lovers - there is the regular (bacon) and the Royale (smoked trout) and a special of abalone and wagyu together which we are curious enough to try, not just because we hadn't seen the two ingredients together.
Pink Grapefruit juice $7.50 and Turkish Coffee $4.50
And that doesn't even get us started on the drinks. The menu is full of possibilities. Belinda goes for the Pink grapefruit juice with bitter dark chocolate and coconut threads. It's refreshing in this heat and has a good level of sweetness to it. Mr NQN caffeinates his veins with a Mehmet Efendi thick, short Turkish coffee with a piece of Haci Bekir Turkish Delight, the brand said to be the birthplace of Lokum or Turkish Delight.
My drink order is a Chocomole or an avocado and Belgian chocolate drink with pistachio and honey. It looks like Yogo in texture but is deliciously creamy. The avocado isn't very strong and it tastes like a creamy, perfectly sweet chocolate shake. I was tossing up between this and the bowls of Callebaut hot chocolate with orange blossom or rose.
Abalone Benedict $30
"Look at your feast," says our waitress as they lay down the food. In our defence Mr NQN had just cycled the MS Wollongong ride so he was very hungry. The green lip abalone is served with smoked wagyu on sourdough toast, two organic poached eggs, roasted asparagus and hollandaise sauce. It's rich and gorgeous and not a crumb goes back to the kitchen.
Veal Sucuk Bruschetta $18
Although a single slice of bruschetta may seem small for the price, it delivers in spades. The toasted bread is topped with baba ganoush, sauteed spinach, mixed olives, cherry tomato, labne, fennel seeds. It is said to have dried apricots but ours doesn't but it doesn't need them as this is a perfectly savoury and spicy dish. On the plate is a black bean puree.
Bosphorous Benedict $25
The Bosphorous Benedict is a photogenic specimen. Served on Turkish toast with pieces of succulent Bay lobster, avocado, house made hollandaise sauce, coriander and chilli it's rich and indulgent. And if you're having this with the veal sucuk above, it's best to eat this first as it is milder than the spicy sausage.
Watermelon salad $23
This is a curious mix that somehow works. Comprised of rose infused watermelon, buffalo mozzarella slices, capers, radicchio, walnuts, baby spinach and an add on of Japanese scallops, it's sweet and fragrant and generously portioned. "Some people just have the knack," says Belinda of the unusual combination that goes well together.
Carrot cake $7.50
Out of curiosity sake we try the home made carrot, cinnamon ans walnut cake. It's not quite as moist as other carrot cakes but it is fragrant with nutmeg and comes with a mulberry jam and thick cream.
Nutella gozleme $14
We're so used to seeing savoury gozleme but haven't really eaten sweet gozleme. This is a beauty. With crispy, thin pastry and filled with Nutella, banana, coconut and toasted almonds and topped with pomegranate seeds it's hard to stop at one piece. Just eat it all and skip dinner if you need to. I make plans of doing this at home immediately.
So tell me Dear Reader, do you like benedicts? What is your favourite protein to have with it? And what do you think of a Nutella gozleme? Have you ever eaten a sweet gozleme before?
This meal was independently paid for.
415 Crown St, Surry Hills NSW 2010
Phone: 0406 930 083
Tuesday to Thursday 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Friday and Saturday 8:00 AM – 10:00 PM
Sunday 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM