Giuls, a pocket Italian restaurant run by women in Surry Hills

Giulia Treuner knew she was ready to strike out on her own after leaving her role as Area Manager at Rockpool Dining Group. She managed – after a few drinks – to convince Esmeralda Perez (ex-chef at Carbon Mexican Woodfire) to join her. Now the couple run their first restaurant together: Giuls, a modern Italian restaurant with an almost all-female team.

“To me [hiring mainly female staff] was super important…there still aren’t as many women leading teams or running their own businesses, so I think it’s important to see more young women starting their own businesses and running them, and we we’re just super proud that Giuls is female-owned and directed,” Treuner says. Large format.

Giuls, named after the nickname given to Treuner by his grandfather, occupies a 50 square meter space on Surry Hills’ bustling Crown Street. It features an industrial-style interior with high ceilings and polished concrete floors. Floor-to-ceiling windows open onto an outdoor terrace with plenty of outdoor seating shaded by large red and white umbrellas.

Splashes of Italian flag color are also apparent in the red and aqua green textured terracotta tiles used to wrap the bar and kitchen backsplash. “I traveled extensively through Italy in my teens and twenties, and I knew I wanted to recreate the vibe of a neighborhood restaurant – something small, something warm, where you can connect with people,” says Treuner.

Like the layout, the menu is disconcertingly simple. Perez developed the menu in consultation with Florentine chef Alessio Rago (former executive chef of the Manly Pavilion), who trained at the starred restaurant Sita in Milan, and whose Tuscan roots helped shape the dishes served at Giuls.

To start, there’s a small selection of snacks, including fluffy homemade focaccia topped with smoked rosemary and arancini topped with thin shavings of smoked mozzarella and truffle aioli.

Slipping into antipasti territory, there’s a refreshing trevally crudo with blood orange, lime and basil oil; creamy burrata with burnt figs and vincotto; and grilled Tasmanian octopus with a spicy nduja oil vinaigrette.

Giuls is also proud of his handmade pasta. Signatures include delicate squid ink fettuccine with crab, cherry tomatoes and chili, and conchiglie, pancetta and taleggio tossed in a creamy vodka sauce. Also look for weekly specials; during Large format visit it was theatrical flaming scallops with ‘nduja cream and basil oil.

Weekends from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., bottomless brunch. For $79, you’ll get 1.5 hours of Aperol Spritz, Espresso Martini, house wine, or house beer, plus an antipasto board with focaccia, arancini balls, olives, and pasta of the day.

Shop 1, 515 Crown Street, Surry Hills
0411 155 301

Wed and Thurs 4 p.m. to late
Fri to Sun 12pm to late

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