Surry Hills Italian Food

About a month ago, my friend Michaela and I were in New York together. In contrast to Sydney with its’ 1.30 lockout, and where it’s near impossible to get a restaurant meal after about 9.30, you can go and do anything at virtually any time in The Big Apple. Memorably, there was one night when, having been to a show, we arrived at a restaurant called Balthazar at maybe 10.30 or 11.00 at night. And memorably, seated metres away from us was none other than Salman Rushdie.

In contrast, we met this week for an early meal at a Crown Street restaurant called Besser. As we arrived at the door, we saw another famous person enjoying their meal. “I love Noni Hazlehurst”, I said to Michaela with a smile, “but I can’t help but contrast this with New York”. In common, the service and the meals at both restaurants were excellent.

Besser, which has an Italian menu is located in the space where Billy Kwong’s used to be. “Everything is meant to be shared”, the waitress told us.

We had some chicken, some greens and some potatoes. The chicken was possibly the best chicken I’ve eaten in years. Moist. Tasty. Brilliant.

When the bill arrived, we noticed we had spent significantly more on the wine than we had on the food. That happens, I guess. And anyway, it was a great place to discover, and I’ve been recommending it heartily ever since.

The other place in Surry Hills that’s really taken off is a new pizza place (Via Napoli, I think it’s called), located in what was Franco Franco on Crown Street, closer to Cleveland Street. Every night I’ve walked past the place has been packed. And last night, there was actually a significantly lengthy queue. I’m sure I’ll get there one day.

3 Replies to “Surry Hills Italian Food”

  1. I am not sure about Rushdie in New York but eating out late in New York is added to the information. Dinner time is 7 in Australia, give or take an hour. Not quite sure why people need to dine at 10.30. Aren’t there stands for snacks outside venues to cater for late night munchies?

  2. Do you link the scarcity of late dining choices in Sydney with the lockout laws, James? I would have thought we have never had a tradition of late night dining in Australia.

    I recall as backpackers in Europe in 1973 we quickly became accustomed to late night dining in Spain and then our comical shock on being unable to find a restaurant open after 9pm when we moved on to regional French townships.

    1. Gosh no Victor. The lockout is more recent. I guess it’s just the comparison more than anything with New York where you can do anything anytime. A bigger city, sure, but sad nonetheless that we don’t have that option.

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