Tucked away down a quiet carriageway in the heart of the city is sensational small bar Since I Left You, affectionately known now as SILY. Once an art-deco themed space, it’s recently had a face lift and now exudes contemporary charm with a stunning Scott Marsh mural sprawling across the space, exposed brick and cosy furnishings. It’s not only the perfect place to catch up with friends for a drink, but now serving up some tasty bites for lunch it’s also a great spot to pop over to and spoil yourself on your break.
One of the new things that they’re exploring post-refresh are Poke bowls ($15). Poke (pronounced poh-kay) are hearty bowls full of delicious, healthy ingredients that don’t leave you feeling heavy but definitely satisfied. I asked owner Nick to surprise me with his favourite combination, and in return he brought to me the spicy tuna variation. If you’re not a fan of spicy foods – don’t fret! They also do traditional shoyu dressing or miso-ginger versions. Built on a bed of white rice, though you can also choose shredded kale and cabbage, it’s essentially sushi in a bowl but not like you’ve ever experienced.
My spicy tuna poke bowl was mixed with sashimi grade tuna fresh from the fish market, edamame beans, carrot, pickled enoki mushrooms, green chilli, shallots, coriander, wakame, chilli shoyu dressing and sriracha Kewpie mayonnaise. It may sound like a lot going on, but everything worked together so well and each individual taste also managed to keep a presence in the mix. I loved the chilli shoyu dressing, it permeated through the entire bowl and kept my taste buds on a tingling standby for all the other elements of the dish. I couldn’t finish the whole bowl, but one of the best parts about SILY is that you can take away their dishes too. So this lucky duck had Poke for lunch and dinner!
The unusual name Since I Left You came from an album title of The Avalanches and is a point of intrigue for guests of the bar, much like the other two dishes I had the delight of trying. The legendary Cheeseburger Toastie ($13) and ingenious Waffle Iron Mac’n’Cheese ($14) are also must-try items on the menu for lunch or a post work snack.
I must admit that I have enjoyed the cheeseburger toastie on more than one occasion, and keep coming back for more because it’s just that good. Made with ground beef, caramelised onions, cornichons, Le Superb Swisse Gruyere, ketchup and mustard this truly is the ultimate comfort food. The beef patty is well cooked with the gruyere oozing over it, add a crunch from the cornichons and tangy condiments to boot. One of my favourite aspects of the dish is that it comes with a side ramekin of ‘French Fries’ crisps. An instant throw back to my primary school lunchbox, a dish with a side of nostalgia is always a winner in my eyes.
As soon as I saw the waffle iron mac’n’cheese on the menu I couldn’t believe what I was reading. How could I never have thought about something so simplistically genius as putting cheesy pasta in a waffle iron? SILY, you’ve done it again. The best part about this snack is that when you heat the cheese it simultaneously melts and toasts, resulting in a crunchy, cheddary outer and soft, cheesy pasta innards. Sprinkle or smother with the side serve of maple syrup and you’re definitely in for a good time.
Make sure you check out SILY for their awesome food and cocktail menu, but also for some of their events they run like Tuesday Trivia, Hip Hop Brunch (did someone say bottomless cocktails with a side of waffles?) and SILY Sunday Sessions out the back in the courtyard.
338 Kent Street, Sydney CBD, NSW
Phone: (02) 9262 4986