I Heart Bagels
SYDNEY: Brooklyn Hide in Surry Hills oozes the charm of New York City, right down to its signature bagels, writes Clancy Atkinson.
New York is fabulous. It’s renowned for its architecture, fashion, people, attitude and bagels – OMG, the bagels! NYC bagels are considered the best in the world and rightfully so. Sydney has long been a black hole when it comes to good bagels. Many have tried to replicate the boiled rings of deliciousness but alas most have failed – until now. Step up Brooklyn Hide, Surry Hills’ very own slice of NYC hip and undoubtedly the best bagels this side of the Pacific.
Brooklyn Hide Bagels is the creation of Daniel Littlepage and Matthew Forsdike, passionate foodie/creative types who both spent time living and working in New York.
“We just love the feel and the authenticity of traditional New York delis, they do one thing and do it really well,” Matthew says. “It’s all about bagels, coffee and good service – it’s that simple.”
And it’s with that philosophy that Brooklyn Hide Bagels is built on.
Situated at the gourmet end of Commonwealth Street, Brooklyn Hide’s eye-catching interior is slick and oozes cool. Styled with a mixture of black tiles and wood-covered walls, the room looks back on to the open kitchen where you can see the bagels being prepared. The aromatic smell of fresh bagels and brewed coffee immediately puts customers in an Empire State of mind – even the antique wall clock is set to Brooklyn time.
But let’s talk about the bagels. Made using an authentic secret recipe, the bagels are boiled then baked on the premises resulting in a dense, chewy texture with a nice outer crust that pays homage to the bagels of old. The NYC theme continues through to the naming of the bagels; each type is named after a different borough or part of the city.
‘The Midtown’ ($10) is Brooklyn Hide's version of the deli classic ‘The Reuben’. Filled with a generous amount of briny corned beef, pickled red cabbage and Jalsberg, the combination is genius. Each mouthful a contrast of salty and sweet, working beautifully with the sourdough bagel. A worthy version of the great Reuben.
Their signature bagel ‘The Brooklyn Hide’ ($10) is an absolute slamming bagel. Featuring slow cooked pork, fresh cucumber, rocket and apple jam, the flavour combinations are simply beautiful. The tart jam offers some acidity cutting through the rich, sticky pork resulting in a well-balanced mouthful.
Brooklyn Hide puts its head on the chopping block by daring to produce a lox and cream cheese bagel – any good bagelry worth their weight in salt knows the importance of producing good lox. This version is called ‘The Manhattan’ ($12) and draws on all of the kitchens skills in order to work. The house-cured salmon and cream cheese poppy seed bagel is stunning, and a drizzle of honey vinegar is Brooklyn Hide’s trademark modern touch that lifts the deli classic to new heights.
Executive chef Matthew and head baker Chrissie Flanagan (from Masterchef Professionals) make everything in-house using organic, ethically sourced, hand-picked ingredients. They cure all their own meat and fish and make all the jams, pickles and baked items using time-honored techniques with modern twists.
“It’s not just about the bagels, they are the vehicle for good fillings. We are loading them up with premium, organic ingredients,” Matthew says.
Bagels and coffee go hand in hand, and Brooklyn Hide’s coffee is one of the best in coffee-saturated Surry Hills. It is a specially roasted blend by coffee champions Little Marionette. Expertly made and well thought out, its punchy, nutty flavour stands up well against the bagels. A range of ‘Teacraft’ teas as well as the normal plethora of fizzy drinks are also available.
With every bagel made with “schmears, tears and Brooklyn love”, the Brooklyn Hide team promise more of these bagel-inspired cafes to open around town in the coming months. Now that’s fabulous.
Brooklyn Hide, 226 Commonwealth Street, Surry Hills. Monday – Friday 7am – 5pm; Saturday – Sunday 8am – 4pm.