An absolute glutton for punishment. Yes, I refer to myself.
The record-breaking week-long heatwave this town just endured was a bit of a killer, to say the least. 41°C out in the western ‘burbs and just over 42°C in the city. Crazy stuff. All I can say is without the recent installation of air-con in this house I’m sure I’d have checked into a hotel on day two of that heated week of torture.
This city’s beloved rail network so happened to do a bit of trackwork that fell on our hottest day but fortunate for us, buses replaced trains to the city (air-conditioned buses unlike non-airconditioned trains we’re used to) making for a pleasant journey into town. The place we were headed to ended up being closed for lunch so a split decision took us to Bar H.
I’ve been wanting to get to Bar H for a little while now, a spot run by a hubby & wife team that nudged into the site of the former Wall Cafe. Bar H seems a little more grown-up by offering carpaccio-this and heirloom-that as well as a good drop of the grape by the look of the wine list and that vertical wall of resting bottles. The H comes from Hamish, an ex-Billy Kwong head chef that teamed up with his wife to add this foodies drinking hole to Surry Hills’ new breed of far-from-shabby eateries.
Aside from the printed menu we have the choice of three sandwiches so we take perch at the window seats (only leg room for people 5-foot tall) and await our freshly-made gourmet sandwiches. I can only blame the excessive temperatures of the day and the lack of air conditioning in the restaurant for not seeking something a little more creative from the menu. With this heat I just couldn’t focus so the sandwich was an easy option, plus they sounded delish. Pulled pork, fennel & mint (14) and poached chicken, watercress & fennel (12).
The sambo’s are impressive – freshly cut bread packed generously with your chosen fillings – and on this steamy 42° day there was no choice but to sit in a pool of my own sweat and peer out over Campbell Street as it blistered in the sun.
Dessert just had to be had and I reckon I chose pretty well. Chocolate and cherry tart (12) – a warmed wedge of moussey deliciousness tumbled with fresh cherries and a double cream quenelle. It was demolished in record time as we were eager to get out and grab a coffee down the road in a place that had air-con. Apologies Bar H, I’ll be back to try a few more bits off the menu when it’s a tad cooler.
Di Bella Coffee Roasting Warehouse is a newish joint on Holt Street that has pretty much everything you need when it comes to coffee. Beans, grinders, machines, siphons, cold drips, accessories, you name it. It’s a serious hub for caffeine freaks like myself. There’s a massive coffee roaster in the middle of the room and an area out the back where you can sit and learn about alternative brewing methods.
By the sound of the menu the kitchen churns out some tasty sounding brekkie and brunch items but seeing we’d just eaten, it was coffee time. The barista really does work like a pro and the macchiato and flat white were absolute perfection. So good, in fact, I grabbed a kilo of Brazilian to take home as well as two complimentary samples of single origin beans given to us by one of the very friendly and helpful guys. Definitely coming back here.