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Yulli's joins the veteran Lounge Cafe and Sticky Bar as "places on Crown Street to drink on a retro couch set". The decor is understatedly cool: low lights, red tones, wine crate furniture and – wait for it – AstroTurf. Sit street-side to eye the passing pedestrian traffic through the bay windows or, if you're after a more intimate setting, there's a hidden room out the back that's got to have the oddest decor in Surry Hills (in a good way).
But onto the important issues: food and drink. Yulli's is completely vegetarian, though you would never know it. The menu is economical, comprising eight shared dishes and seven mains. Share plates consist of Mediterranean or Asian nibblies and pub classics, like baby burritos, pan-fried haloumi and mixed veggie chips (kumera, taro, lotus, beetroot and Spanish onion!). Mains sit around the $15 to $17 mark and offer hearty feeds like Massaman curry pie with mash, polenta with fennel and salsa verde, and a thin-base pizza topped with porcinis, kalamatas, haloumi and rocket. Yum! The Austro-New Zealand wine list is concise but covers all bases. The beers, however, are more extensive and more exciting. Yulli's specialises in local New South Wales breweries and has a couple of boutique drops on tap: Cinnamon Girl Spiced Ale and St Arnou Pilsner, for example. An impressive range of bottled beers, long necks (heck yes), and ciders make for excellent reading and even better drinking.