[Sydney] The team behind the insanely popular The Grounds Of Alexandria hits another home-run with The Grounds of the City at 500 George Street.
No “Kevin Bacon” (the pig) here. Probably no running-screaming children either.
This coffeehouse-inspired inner-city hub is said to “transport you back to an era of old-school charm and reignite the heart and soul of Sydney’s CBD”.
Broadcast reviewed, ”They went all out.”
(Click PLAY for video highlights of Grounds of the City.)
Indeed. Furnished with 1920s charm like within the Orient Express, open-plan kitchen, The Barista’s Bar… from the conception of the design to the finish, many of the furniture you see around have been custom-made.
It LOOKS expensive, and IS expensive.
Reporters wrote that there was a shoe-shiner around? WOW. But I could not find any in both trips.
Breakfast and lunch is offered daily with late trading on Thursday evenings. (Friday and Saturday night late opening hours will be coming soon, along with the availability of reservations.)
When I first visited during a weekend, the wait for the table was told to be about 2 hours. Fortunately, the group could go elsewhere to return later.
Notifications would be updated on the reservation site so that you could keep track how long more the wait could be.
Once you are inside, absorb that vibes and energy, and admire the effort put into the furnishing and details.
If you come individually, perhaps you can plant yourself at The Barista bar, with “coffee sommeliers” serving up The Grounds house-roasted espresso and filter coffees.
Interesting drinks include Deconstructed Hot Chocolate (AUD7), Deconstructed Mocha (AUD7), Coffee Tasting Board (AUD15 for 2) which includes a selection of their single origin coffee using a variety of brewing methods.
Generally, I thought coffee at Grounds was to the stronger, slightly acidic (compared to other Sydney’s cafes) side.
A tea lady will roam the room with her trolley, with selection of ethically sourced teas (50 Sips of Grey, Moroccan Gunpowder, Lemongrass & Ginger, Nasheman Chair) and cakes baked fresh daily in The Grounds Bakery & Patisserie.
From the breakfast menu, some items you could eye on include the Freshly Baked Croissant with king crab salad, soft herbs and lemon (AUD$22), Brekkie Roll of bacon, pork sausage, fried egg, avocado and tomato salsa in a brioche bun with spicy green sauce (AUD$17) and Wild Mushroom Feuilleté with sheep’s curd, spinach, peas, poached eggs and hazelnuts (AUD$23).
My favourite items would be the Steak & Eggs (AUD$25) of seared grain fed fillet steak with mushrooms, onions, spinach, fried egg and chimichurri; and Cheddar, Chive and Maple Bacon Omelette (AUD$21).
Food was in line with the “Grounds” standard, tasty though not life-changing. (Some other more indie Sydney cafes could offer more excitement in the food aspect.)
I preferred the morning visit as service didn’t seem as hurried, and place wasn’t THAT noisy.
Note: The Grounds of the City does not have any available parking. Two closeby options include the Citigroup Centre Car Park located at 271 Pitt Street or the Queen Victoria Building Car Park at 111 York Street.
For those of you taking public transport, you can drop off Town Hall Station, or the QVB on York St, located within walking distance from The Grounds of the City. If not, just Uber.
The Grounds of the City
500 George St, Sydney, 2000
Tel: +61 2 9699 2235
Opening Hours: 7:00am – 6:00pm (Mon – Sun)
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