Monday, March 10, 2014

Rustic Pearl café | Surry Hills

Surry Hills, you little charmer. When you step into Rustic Pearl café, it’s like stepping into a well lived-in tiny home of someone with fine taste and meticulous style, and with service that complements the welcoming warmth of a good friend.

Location and Ambience

Bits and pieces of odds and sods of what appears to be collections of travel pieces from the Balkan Peninsula (Southeast Europe) are decorated throughout this shoebox establishment. The tables have imprinted on them kaleidoscope patterns, influenced by byzantine and mosaic designs. The décor is subtle and interesting enough to ensure you pause for a minute to have a look at each piece on display.

The beautiful yet unusual décor left me stunned in awe and I took a couple of minutes to absorb the establishment’s rustic grace. I always appreciate the thoughtfulness that goes into the creation and placement of beautiful and yet eccentric interiors. Size doesn’t matter. This establishment leaves you spellbound.

Interiors in Rustic Pearl

Food and Drinks

Whilst my morning caffeine fix served in a beautiful pastel sky blue ceramic cup was very good - freshly brewed aroma with a smooth taste, well balanced and not bitter – it is the food and the cold drink menu that was the standout at Rustic Pearl. Don’t get me wrong, the coffee is good, but the food is outstanding.

The food and drink menu reflects a similar interesting kaleidoscope to the interiors. Each item on the menu provokes images in your head of something colourful and appetising.

Non (or low) caffeinated drink

The Turkish apple iced tea with lemon, rose, mint and cucumber ($6.50) is a must try. It’s a cold and simply refreshing healthy drink. The apple and tea is well balanced, being the main taste of this drink. The taste of the lemon rose and mint combination in this drink is very subtle.

There are other drinks that look just as appetising, such as the following which I will just have to try another time:

Homemade minted lemonade with fresh seasonal fruit $6.50
Sour cherry nectar $4
Ginger beer (Strange Love) $4.5
Greenpower juice (Emma & Tom’s) $5
Coconut water (Emma & Tom’s) $5
Banana smoothie fresh banana, yoghurt, milk, honey & cinnamon $6.50
Avocado smoothie fresh avocado, yoghurt, milk, honey & pistachio $6.50
Helva smoothie tahini, grape molasses, honey, yoghurt & milk $6.50
Summer iced latte/ long black 8oz $4 /12oz $5

Top right: Turkish apple iced tea with lemon, rose, mint and cucumber is the drink to try at Rustic Pearl


I had the sucuk bruschetta, which comprised of chargrilled sucuk, melted buffalo mozzarella, fresh tomato, basil, rocket, pomegranate molasses and soft boiled egg ($17). Surprisingly, this well presented meal was not too heavy for breakfast. The dish was a delicious combination of savoury and sweet flavours. The waitstaff told me ‘sucuk’ is actually pronoun
ced ‘sujuk’. It is a dry, spicy chorizo like sausage eaten from the Balkans to the Middle East and Central Asia. Brickfields in Chippendale had a similar ingredient in their toasted sandwiches.

The highlight though, was what my friend had: the spinach, fetta & mozzarella gözlemes ($16). Gözlemes is a savoury traditional Turkish pastry dish, made of hand-rolled dough that is lightly brushed with butter and eggs, filled in this case with spinach, fetta and mozzarella and just writing about this makes my stomach grumble. This dish is again well presented in a work-of-art style and served on a wooden board. It was really enough to feed two people. Had we known, we could have shared this dish. This dish is truly hearty and food for the soul.

Sucuk bruschetta
Spinach, fetta & mozzarella gözlemes


Service is just outstanding. It feels like you have been welcomed into a good friend's home.

Best time to go

This interesting little establishment probably can seat no more than 10 people at a time. We were there for an early morning 8.30am Saturday breakfast and there were still a few tables available. Come 9.30am, it’s full and you are left with getting takeaway.


The most valuable pearls occur spontaneously in the wild, but they are extremely rare. This establishment certainly lives up to its name. I can’t recommend Rustic Pearl enough. I’ve dined in a lot of places in Sydney being a food blogger, but this one is an all-rounder 5 star in everything – food, drinks, coffee, service. Rustic Pearl, it's establishments like yours that make Sydney one of the best places in the world to dine.

Location? 415 Crown St, Surry Hills NSW 2010
Phone? 0406 930 083
8am to 5pm Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Sunday
8am to 10pm Friday, Saturday

 Rustic Pearl on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. I totally agree. This place is the bomb. I've stopped trying other places because I know it's always so good.