The Unbearable Lightness of Being Hungry | A Sydney Food Blog

Sunday Brunch, Bar H, Surry Hills

November 1st, 2014  |  Published in Favourites, Latest, Restaurants  |  2 Comments


Here’s an excellent way to jumpstart your Sunday – try the new brunch menu at Bar H in Surry Hills. Bring a supersized appetite, because the extensive menu is designed to ruin strict diets and make you want to order enthusiastically.

There’s none of the standard-issue eggs/toast/muesli cliches – in fact, Bar H has taken its high-velocity dining approach and translated it to the first meal of the day in a hyper-vibrant way. Earlier this year, chef Hamish Ingham reinvigorated his dinner menu, tapping into a unique root system of influences: his ideas drew from Chinese, Japanese and native Australian origins. The Sunday menu takes this cross-breed of cuisines and expresses it in a way that’s unlike any other brunch on offer.


Pancakes are on offer, but they’re the Osaka staple that is Okonomiyaki ($22), given an early morning twist with crispy bacon and saltbush; Yes, there are Fried Eggs ($18), but they’re dusted with shichimi, topped with ruffled ribbons of tororo konbu, and served with oyster sauce and bonito. Sure, you can get porridge, but it will be Congee, Shallots and Mustard Greens ($8), and instead of working through it, spoonful by plain spoonful, you are given an arsenal of ingredients to dip through – deep-fried wonton wrappers, kimchi, and a confetti-like mix of flavour-intense pickles, lively herbs, and other elements that radically perk up the dish. It’s an awesome way to kick off your brunch – but to really max out enjoyment levels, pair this with the Chinese Bread with Seaweed Salt ($8) – the savoury donuts that really are the sole point of ever getting congee. Bar H’s version of the deep-fried sticks of dough are so much fun to dunk and steer figure eights through your porridge – they’re essentially a life raft for consuming all those soggy grains. For a vegetarian-friendly version, you can get the XO sauce on the side, too.


And if you like your eggs soft-poached, then ask for the Mushroom and Buckwheat ($21), where you get to break open the yolk across a bank of those ingredients, shio koji, and sea banana (which Bar H’s co-owner Rebecca Lines vividly describes as “looking like a banana and tasting like the sea”).

There’s no Western breakfast equivalent of this, but definitely order the Tempura Corn with Smoked Corn and Black Salt ($14), which is an addictive cluster of deep-fried kernels and feathery carrot-tops. Will also endorses the Steamed Pork and Saltbush Dumplings ($16).


And you’ll see some of Bar H’s dinner favourites sneak into this daytime menu, too. Like the Japanese Fried Chicken ($27), Rice Noodles Sweet Soy, Peanuts & Bonito ($16), and Crisp Saltbush ($14), the latter dish being the best entry point into understanding Bar H’s cross-referencing on native and Asian ingredients. And in a shameless example of recycling of something I wrote in my zine, I also called the saltbush tempura “the most compelling (and interactive) way you can eat your greens”, especially as “the stalks look like a deep-fried bouquet, which you then strip and christen with chilli mayo”.

Bar H’s brunch menu is so extensive that you want to unfold it, like architectural plans, and plot the different things you can try over multiple visits. Also, the restaurant is really great with catering for vegetarian versions of dishes and offers plenty of gluten-free choices, too.


In the same way that Bar H’s breaks from usual brunch expectations, so does its drinks list, which spans everything from Fresh Watermelon & Ginger Juice ($7), Pandan Lemonade ($7), Native River Mint Tea ($7) and cocktails such as Shochu Sangria ($30 for a litre) and Umeshu Spritz ($16).

And if its savoury offerings weren’t seams-busting enough, you can try some ever-tempting sweets. Like the brilliant Rice Porridge, Yuzu Caramel, Fresh berries ($9), which Will calls, “the best dessert I’ve had in ages”. (I second his huge endorsement of it.) And if you’re looking for something hangover-friendly, you may be game enough to take on the Maple Pancakes with Asahi Black Ice-cream and Bacon ($19). You may need a whole week to recover from your overenthusiastic attempt to conquer brunch here, but there’s no downside to that. After all, that’s enough pause time before you’ll be ready take it on again. This is a menu that definitely encourages – and deserves – multiple visits.


Sunday brunch at Bar H, 80 Campbell St, Surry Hills NSW (02) 9280 1980,

Tags: , , ,


  1. Can’t stop staring at the tempura corn! I’d happily eat that for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

  2. wow. everything looks so delicious! (and the ones there aren’t photos of sound delicious too!)

Your Comments



Hi, I'm Lee Tran Lam. When not blogging with my mouth full, I'm usually writing, presenting Local Fidelity on FBi radio, making zines, producing podcasts or continually breaking promises about how I really am gonna get through my book pile one day.

All the good pictures on this blog are by photography ace (and patient boyfriend), Will Reichelt, (all the dodgy ones can be credited to me)!

The lovely banner is by friend and ultra-talented illustrator Grace Lee.

This site redesign was made possible by the next-level generosity and expertise of Daniel Boud, whose code-tinkering ways are only outranked by his seriously inspired way with a camera.

You can read more about my co-conspirators here.

This is a blog I do for pure fun and zero influence – there's no sponsorship, sneaky advertorial or advertising. I pay for all the food mentioned, 'cos it seems the ethical thing to do.


This is a blog about eating and drinking in Sydney, Australia (with the odd cross-border or off-topic detour). BYO appetite.

Subscribe via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.