Rainford Street Social, Surry Hills

We were wondering who and what will take over Bird Cow Fish that they ceased business not too long ago. And then we found out that the Toko team has taken over the lease and was curious what they will do with this space.

We were walking home after dinner and went past Rainford Street Social. I love the look and feel of what the Toko team has done to this place. Darkish wood interior, an open space kitchen, a couple of comfy leather lounges, communal table is brightened by the glass front. And of course, the outdoor area is maintained and will definitely be popular when the weather gets a touch warmer.

Inside Rainford Street Social

The Rainford Street Social is located in a very prime location on Crown Street, Surry Hills and not too far from Toko itself. There is definitely no Japanese influence in this restaurant and is headed by Ben Orpwood. The wait staff explained that the dishes are quite dainty looking. This place is more English or British influence. Even the plates are made in England!

Inside Rainford Street Social

There seems to quite a pretty coffee machine sitting behind the island kitchen. We ordered a strong latte each to kick off our first meal of the day. How pretty is the sugar bowl? They do have a nice selection of wine, beers and tea as well.


We started with a crispy sweet breads with truffle gribiche ($14). Gribiche is a french sauce using cold eggs. I love how crispy, light and creamy sweet breads. I wish there was more sweet breads and more gribiche. I just can’t get enough of the sweet breads. Many love KFC chicken popcorns (is that what they are called?) but I love these sweet breads popcorns or pops.

sweet breads

 I ordered the corn beef hash up ($18) from the Special board. It came served with a fried egg, shredded spiced tomato covered corn beef and potatoes. I can’t see myself getting filled up with this smallish plate of food. Nice flavour but I do have an issue with the portion size.

corn beef hash

Mistered ordered the roasted blue eye wrapped with lardo. pickled mushrooms, roast relish, roast potato with berre blanc ($28). The fish was cooked perfectly and love the crunch of the relish and the light sauce that tied the dish together. I am bringing up this point again. Do you think that the portion size is a little small? It is very pretty but way little for lunch or dinner. I guess you could make it up with ordering small dishes and finishing off with a dessert each. But for us, it is still considered as a local restaurant and I don’t wish to have small dishes or dessert all the time. Does that make sense?

The food is good and maybe we should have ordered small dishes to share like a few tables that we noticed. I shall check out the braised shoulder next time. It is a personal favourite of head chef, Ben, as I acquired this information on twitter.

roasted blue eye

Mister and I ordered a dessert each. I do regret getting the treacle tart with creme normand and praline ($12) from the specials board. The thick filling sat on a very thin and crumbly pastry. The praline was crumbed and covered with a rich creme normand or a type of custard. If you love sugar and super sweet and rich dessert, then this might be for you. I hardly touched it after the first mouthful. However, I did enjoy the special flower and peppermint blended tea.

treacle tart

Mister ordered the very rich but delicious Cambridge burnt cream and puff pastry twirl & liquid cheese cake ($14).  I love how they served this dish. In the little pot is the liquid cheese cake. I can actually just eat that on its own. And the puff twirl was light but buttery. The burnt cream had a nice burnt and bitter crackle to it and underneath lies yummy cream!  We thought that is needed something citrus or sharp to cut the richness.

burnt cream and liquid cheese

I took a photo of their menus. Pretty sure it will change through season and what is available. But it will give you an idea of what their menu and prices are like.

Rainford main menu

Dessert menu

Rainford dessert menu

Rainford Street Social
500 Crown Street, Surry Hills

View Larger Map

Rainford Street Social on Urbanspoon