It’s something different for Surry Hills – a takeaway spot with a passion for “good, interesting food” for nine-to-fivers.
“You should be able to have that while you’re at work,” says co-owner Matt Forsdike. “The idea is a takeaway store that offers better food.”
After the success of Brooklyn Hide over the past three years, Forsdike and co-owner Michael “Ginger” Munro were struck by the plight of business people who demanded more from their lunch hour.
“One issue we’ve had at Brooklyn is the time-poor people who don’t want to wait five, 10 minutes for something to be made for them, so they’ll go to one of the takeaway places and grab something ready-to-go,” he says. “And that’s what we’re doing over here, but the food is good.”
There’s a carnival of options at the Surry Hills Servo, which sits on the opposite corner across from Brooklyn on Commonwealth Street. Menus are confirmed the day before; everything is made in small batches for the day; and all items are stocked in glass counters, on serving racks or mini-fridges.
The options could include yellow-curry sausage rolls; coq au vin; Milo scrolls; raspberry, ginger and beetroot parfait; and Servopops, in blueberry and coconut water, or bergamot. Takeaway boxes – salmon and rice or tofu, say – are stocked with “one little fun item”: a Freddo Frog, a lollipop or a glass tub of yogurt.
There’s cold-pressed juice from Rainy Lane, iced tea and cold brew made in-house, and breakfast jars (in glass, with a $1-off return offer) with tapioca or bircher. There’s no espresso machine at Servo: “Surry Hills doesn’t need another one.” Instead, it serves Aeropress and drip coffee from Little Marionette and Black Velvet, a Melbourne-based roaster.
The staff is the original team Brooklyn started with. “We said do whatever you want, cook whatever you feel like; they were excited to not be constricted by the bagel all the time,” he says. “We can’t change the menu [at Brooklyn Hide]; it would be like taking the Big Mac away from McDonalds.”
The space, formerly a computer-repair store, is a cosy two-seater spot below street level, equal parts upscale service station and family lounge room.
Surry Hills Servo
4/242 Commonwealth Street, Surry Hills
Mon to Fri 8am–4pm