Friday, 20 December 2013

Rustic Pearl, Surry Hills

My friend Shell and I met up for a long overdue catch-up recently. Out of the many cafes in Surry Hills, we determined that the Rustic Pearl was a good place as any to brunch at, selecting it for its uniquely Turkish/ Mediterranean flair.

Living up to its name, the Rustic Pearl is decorated with quaint trinkets and a charming mural (below).

Admittedly, I've always been disconcerted by nazar, or evil eye amulets. There was a Turkish pop-up store a few months ago in Chatswood Westfield which sold wind chimes, beautifully painted bowls and other ornaments bearing depictions of the eye. It feels silly to admit it, but it felt like they were all glaring intently at me - ironic because culturally, nazar are used to ward off bad luck from any "evil eyes" directed at a particular person.

Shell remarked on the prettiness of the pink salt, but pondered about the supposed health benefits of pink salt compared to commonplace white table salt. "Does it contain less sodium?" she sarcastically queried. Amusingly, a Google search revealed numerous sites which claim that Himalayan pink salt derives its colour from its rich mineral content. Since it contains many minerals other than sodium, it is reasoned that there is a lower proportion of sodium. I'll leave it to someone else who might be more scientifically inclined to test the veracity of these statements...

Tea ($4.00)
The controversial salt

Our drinks arrived. Shell had ordered the tea (the Stockholm blend, since she's fond of both vanilla and black tea) and I, the avocado smoothie. I loved the presentation of the pastel green drink. The glass straw and crushed pistachio somehow evoked notions of being healthy and environmentally friendly.

However, drinking the smoothie was not so pleasurable. I could definitely taste the flavour of honey, but the avocado, milk and yoghurt components were so rich and milky that they smothered the sweetness that should have been there. And while I loved the idea of pistachios in a smoothie, it was kind of tiring chewing on them after each sip.

Avocado smoothie ($6.50)

On a more positive note, I was really pleased about the sucuk bruschetta. Sucuk is a type of Turkish sausage, similar to chorizo in taste and appearance. Though meant to be spicy, the heat factor was muted substantially (probably to accommodate the Australian palate). The egg was cooked to a perfect runny-yoke consistency, while the fattiness of the buffalo mozzarella cheese and avocado was interrupted by the sweetness of the sliced tomatoes. When I received the plate of 1.5 slices of toast, I was dubious about being full at the end, but it all occupied my stomach space comfortably.

Sucuk bruschetta ($17.00)

Shell had mixed wild mushroom gnocchi with a tomato-based sauce. She was a little miffed that the menu suggested that her "wild mushrooms" would be mixed in variety - her plate only contained ordinary brown mushrooms. Other than this, she was content with her meal.

Mixed wild mushroom gnocchi ($18.00)

I'd like to sample their meyhane dishes (share plates with wine), so I my next visit shall be at dinner time!

Rustic Pearl on Urbanspoon


  1. The mixed mushrooms probably meant "store bought (brown) mushrooms mixed with wild mushrooms" hahahahha