Monday, August 27, 2012

Sydney Spotlight: Hemingway's

Last week a friend & I took a spontaneous trip to Manly to have lunch and catch up.  As soon as we set foot in the neighborhood, I knew I wanted to check out Hemingway's. I had spotted the little cafe on a previous trip to Manly months ago, and was immediately intrigued by the name.  Obviously named after Ernest Hemingway, and being the slight literature nerd I am, I knew I had to check it out.  So when my friend and I took the trip to Manly, I immediately suggested it to her -- for no other reason than it's name alone. 

Oh man, I'm so glad we went. 

Hemingway's -- 48 North Steyne, Manly 

Located right across the street from the Beach, Hemingway's is fairly easy to spot and has gorgeous views.

I was completely surprised by the interior of the cafe.  Lined with bookshelves and bookshelf themed wallpaper along the bar, I thought it was the perfect theme and Mr. Hemingway himself would feel right at home there. The antique furniture and deep brown hues across the room really played with my senses, as for a moment I forgot that I was in a beach town instead what felt like an old library or maybe even Hemingway's office. 

The water was served in a gin bottle and the glasses that accompanied it contained ice! Most establishments in Sydney don't serve ice in their glasses, so this was a nice surprise. The menus were located in encyclopedias and the prices were relatively on the lower to medium side of the scale.  My friend and I decided to get a few entrees to share, so we could taste a variety of dishes. 

Chips 'n' Gravy - $12
We ordered the Chips 'n' Gravy, Corn & Tostadas. Oh MY GOSH, so yum. The handcut chips were completely out of this world, and were the best chips & gravy I've ever had.  I loved how rustic it tasted and the oxtail shredded over the gravy really made this dish a winner. I could not stop eating it.

Corn - $6
The corn was such a nice surprise.  Living in Sydney, one of my constant cravings is "elote" style corn, which is sold by street vendors, usually Mexicans, in various towns all over Mexico & California and covered in butter, cheese, chili with a sprinkling of lime juice on top. Many restaurants try to imitate this style of "street corn," but so far Hemingway's has come the closest. It is almost as delicious as I remember it to be.  My one flaw with their version is the portion. Only half of the above was one serve! It's too good to be that small.  
Tostadas - $12 for 2 Serves
Another massive surprise was the tostadas.  They contained king fish ceviche with thai style dressing and avocado puree.  While messy to eat, they were the perfect mix of salty, tangy, sweet and crunchy.  The fish was cured to perfection and the play on textures between the soft fish and crunchy tostada had my taste buds singing. At $12 for 2, I had absolutely nothing to complain about. 

I'm sure by now you can tell my experience at Hemingway's was fantastic.  If I had one complaint (other than the small corn portions) it would be that my friend and I were sitting at a table with bar stools that was much too high to eat our food on.  We kept spilling food all over our laps! Next time, I'll sit at one of the regular sized tables, and leave the sky high table for those drinking cocktails -- which apparently are good there.

I hope I don't need to spell it out for you, but GO TO H.E.M.I.N.G.W.A.Y.'S   N.O.W.  

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