Bite-sized Summary: A friendly small bar tucked away between heritage listed buildings in Sydney’s CBD. SILY offers an eclectic lunch menu available in-house or takeaway, featuring vibrant poke bowls, warm, cheesy toasties, and savoury waffles in ways you’ve probably never had before.
Since undergoing a rebranding, Since I Left You celebrates its 7th Birthday with some fresh, new additions to the lunch menu. At first glance, the offerings seem to be a confused mix of items taking inspiration from a plethora of cultures – Hawaiian poke bowls, Middle Eastern “Wafflafel” pita pockets, American cheeseburger toasties and Mexican quesadillas (from a waffle iron, and coined a “Waffledilla” of course). For some reason, however, this eclectic assortment of dishes seems to work in their favour. A fun, vibrant menu, which is a bit of fun, a little bit SILY, and refreshingly different from your typical slick, inner-city watering hole.
Upon arriving at 1:30 pm on a sunny Friday afternoon, we were seated at a booth in the long, narrow bar. The interior is a quirky blend of old and new, where art deco tin ceilings and hanging lights meet exposed brick walls and urban art, with bright murals splashing the walls with colour. Although, SILY offers a fun little cocktail menu with punny names like ‘Pearental Guidance’, we were told that they don’t normally make cocktails at lunchtime, perhaps to deal with the lunch rush… Today, we let owner Nick put his best foot forward by bringing us a few of his favourites from the menu and opted for a glass of the light and fruity Oakvale Rosé ($12) to wash it all down.
The Cheeseburger Toastie
SILY’s lunch menu is divided into three sections – Poke, From the Waffle Iron, and Gourmet Toasties…and gourmet they are! The Cheeseburger Toastie ($13) consists of a ground beef patty, caramelised onions, cornichons, Le Superbe swiss
gruyère cheese, ketchup & mustard. Served with a side of French Fries™, and yes, notice the little trademark symbol because these are the kind that you get at the bottom of a bag of air (and not the hot chip kind).
Let’s just say if you’re a cheeseburger fan, you will LOVE this. They’ve successfully recreated all the flavours from a cheeseburger with a crispy, warm shell of toasted bread. I’ll admit, I’d rather this came with a side of real fries but the packet chip kind was a bit of a nostalgic throwback and a fun little addition to the toastie.
For those not keen on this fast food novelty, SILY also offers a very enticing smoked Reuben toastie consisting of smoked wagyu, sauerkraut, Russian dressing and Le Superbe swiss gruyère cheese.
‘Waffledillas’ & “Wafflafel” Pita Pockets
First up from the waffle iron, we received ‘Waffledillas’ (1 for $8 / 2 for $14) stuffed with a spicy vegetarian filling and served with a trio of Mexican dips – guacamole, salsa and sour cream. These were delicious, warm and crispy; a fantastic little bar snack with plenty of heat from the jalapeños. Functionally, the little bowls holding the dips slid around and tipped over a lot, which was a little annoying but overall, this was my dining partners favourite dish of the day.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get a good shot of the ‘Wafflafel’ pita pocket ($10), which wasn’t today’s most photogenic subject, but it’s what’s on the inside that counts right?! I’m not the biggest fan of falafels, but I also feel like I’ve just never had a good one as I’ve always found them to be a bit dry and lacking in flavour. These ones (fresh out of the waffle iron of course) were light, moist and tasted great along with the salad, pickled turnip, and lemon & garlic sauce. I could have used a little more of the sauce to bind it all together, but overall I can see a lot of people enjoying this one.
Spicy Tuna Poke Bowl
Although I love a good toastie, poke bowls have a special place in my heart so I was very excited to try the ones on offer at SILY. Today, we were presented with a spicy tuna bowl ($15) composed of shredded kale and cabbage, tuna (+$2), bean sprouts, edamame, shallots, spring onion, enoki mushrooms, cucumber, carrot, green chilli, coriander, chilli shoyu dressing and sriracha kewpie mayo. Although more of a sashimi salad than a poke bowl, this was a healthy and delicious option for lunch with wonderful, vibrant flavours and fresh ingredients. Personally, I could have used more of a chilli kick, however, this would be suitable for most palates.
An inner-city small bar with real character. The poke bowls are a clever addition to the menu and a fantastic option for CBD office workers looking for a fresh and healthy lunch, full of colour, texture and vibrant flavours. In terms of the toasties and waffles, I think these are great additions to the bar menu and am not sure if they are available past lunch time (11:30 am – 2:30 pm), however, the cheeseburger toastie after a few afternoon drinks would surely be a hit.
SILY (Since I Left You)
338 Kent St, Sydney NSW 2000
(02) 9262 4986
Thanks to Nick and the team at SILY! EATS with Marie dined as a guest of SILY. All opinions, comments and photos are 100% honest and my own.
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