Brooklyn Hide New York Bagels
It has become so fashionable of late to trash all things Yankee: politics, business, pop culture and, for a long while now, food. In the last of these trash-talking conversations, I have never been able to partake.
"Portions too big!"
"The national cuisine is take away!"
As the other half of these conversations, all I have ever managed to contribute is a blank, if dismayed look, which can only be interpreted as 'say whaaaat?!'
I LOVE eating in America. So many of my favourite foods hail from the Home of the Brave. Currently sitting at Number 2 on the list of faves is a New York bagel (please, even a whole wheat from Dunkin' will do!). I crave these in Sydney and when I occasionally get so desperate for NYC cream cheese memories, I buckle and buy one from the closest cafe.
Disappointment. Of the heart shattering kind.
Enter Brooklyn Hide.
We give thanks to Matthew Forsdike for taking this humblest (ok, an exaggeration of 85%) of baked goods and pairing it with equally irresistible authentic NY and thoroughly AUS filling. Right here. In Australia. Sydney. Central! Don't walk, run.
We chit chat with Messieur Forsdike for some insight into The Brooklyn Hide's offerings, and to make an offering of gratitude in return.
When was the first time you visited NYC?
My best mate and I travelled to New York City when I was in my early twenties. We spent several weeks exploring city's diverse boroughs. There was much to take in, especially when it came to food. Every neighbourhood had a unique cultural mix of flavours and cuisines.
What was it about NYC/Brooklyn/Bagels that inspired establishing The Brooklyn Hide?
I spent several days in Brooklyn and it left a big impression on me. It had everything to offer the senses, from graffiti art to bikes, the bridge, historic architecture, the people, its music, and food.
The city has no shortage of bagel shops and after my first visit to one; the breakfast bagel became a morning ritual for the rest of my trip.
Apart from Bagels, what do you consider to be the quintessential NYC snack, meal and beverage?
You can find anything and everything to eat in New York - from fine dinning to street vendors. But I have to say, when it comes to everyday living, New Yorkers love anything wrapped in bread. Hotdogs, burgers and sandwiches are mainstays.
Tell us about the interior of Brooklyn Hide…
The interior of Brooklyn Hide is definitely inspired by the sights, colours and sounds of Brooklyn without being directly referential. Most elements incorporated in the shop reflect the street life of Brooklyn. A graffiti artist designed our back wall and will regularly make changes to give it a fresh look. We've used recycled timber on the walls, low lighting, and shiny tiles - much like the ones you'd see in a New York subway. We are particularly fond of our cowhides - inspired by the Brooklyn meat district -which you'll see throughout the shop. I believe we've stuck a nice balance between grunge and modern which is probably the reason why our customers are a diverse crowd - from business people to music students.
Tell us about your career in food, how did it all begin?
My family is South American, so I was never a stranger to big, flavoursome meals when I was a kid. My formal training was with David Campbell, founder of The Book Kitchen and current owner of Hungry Duck and Wharf Rd. I also spent a fair bit of time working bars in Melbourne and a couple of years in Europe working in fine dining.
How have the Surry Hills locals responded to your concept?
I wondered whether or not the locals would take to a new breakfast idea. It's one thing to open a new café, but a café that offers a completely different product to people is a different story. We have a lot of regular customers - some who come by a couple of times a week, and others who stop in every morning for a bagel and a coffee. They have swapped their morning toast for a bagel and it’s really exciting to see this trend starting.
What is the most popular bagel on the menu?
The Manhattan is a big favourite. It features the Lox that we cure in-house. Each week we run a different flavour for the salmon such as Gin and Juniper berries, or earl grey tea.
Do you have a personal favourite?
The Brooklyn Hide bagel is a winner for me. Braised pork shoulder, homemade apple jam and really tasty American dill pickles.
Can we look forward to any summertime specials?
The Brooklyn Hide menu is constantly changing due to what is seasonal and fresh. There are always specials each week. The kitchen crew are always coming up with great ideas for the bagel menu. Brooklyn hide has more than bagels though…
We have a big choice of breakfast options: fruit plates, Bircher muesli and granola - both use the same grains found on our ‘everything’ bagel.
We also have some really amazing salads on the menu featuring ingredients like black quinoa, lentils and chickpeas. All use lots of roasted veggies and bagel chips.
So it’s lunchtime and you are hungry – if you were to send me to grab lunch for you, where would I go and what would I bring back?
Most likely, a salad from ‘Kitchen by Mike’ and a juice from ‘Pressed”.
Feel free to do this for me anytime you want….
Visit Brooklyn Hide
226 Commonwealth Street Surry Hills NSW www.brooklynhide.com.au
Follow @brooklynhide on Instagram