The Surry Hills lunch trade is a fickle and highly competitive beast. You’ve only got one chance to impress; one misstep and there’s plenty of other places vying for diner attention. This goes to explain how I came to be writing about Ouroboros so late in the piece. At first I dismissed the light and airy space as relentlessly hipster – a triumph of on-trend typography and illustration over substance – after eating a meal that lacked flavour with a drink served in a jam jar.
More than a year on, craving something healthy, I give Ouroboros it a second chance. Ordering a Haloumi Burger ($18) from the specials board, purported to contain lentils, kale, quinoa and broccoli, I’m surprised to receive a particularly juicy and delicious wagyu burger adorned with a grilled piece of haloumi cheese.
Brought to my senses by this rather fortuitous order mix up, I devour the Haloumi Wagyu Burger ($19) with particular relish. Oozing sriracha mayonnaise and draped pickles, this slightly too tall burger contains a flavoursome and juicy wagyu beef patty, and a layer of grilled haloumi that’s not too salty. My only complaint is the bun dissolved into soggy pieces before I could finish the generously proportioned burger. I don't know if you could really call it wholefood healthy, but it did come (on a board - did I mention hipster?) with salad rather than chips.
Buoyed by this accidental success, I returned for Greek Pulled Lamb in a Wrap ($16). The soft flatbread is stuffed with a generous amount of well-seasoned lamb, tzatziki and iceberg lettuce. Once again, it’s a very hearty lunch, even without the accompanying side salad that's made interesting with radish slices, matchsticks of apple and orange segments.
All-day breakfast means you can tuck into Corn Fritters ($18) any time you like. Two slightly sloppy corn cakes are arranged in a stack with bacon, guacamole, two over-cooked poached eggs, and an intriguing chutney-style relish that I’m told is pineapple. The whole plate is sprinkled with nuts and seeds, helping to ensure this meal fuels your body for hours.
With a blend of chia and flax seeds, banana, granola, honey and yoghurt, the Banana Boost Smoothie ($8) is another way to put back in - if you can past the fact it arrives in a jar. You can also Make Your Own Juice ($9) say perhaps with pineapple, mint, ginger and lemon, but if the jar or the hefty price tag puts you off, an organic, Fairtrade Lemmy Lemonade ($4.50) makes a decent, bottle-born substitution.
Like the tail-eating serpent this café takes its name from, I seem to have come full circle on Ouroboros - it might not be perfect, but it's certainly earned a place in competitive Surry Hills.
118 Devonshire Street, Surry Hills
Ph: (02) 9698 3691