Growing up in Canada, bagels were a big thing. My first time in Montréal, I hunted down the famous Montréal bagel to find that it was much chewier and tougher than the obviously altered recipe they served in British Columbia. But bagels became so ubiquitous, they were sold in bags in every grocery store, and bakeries specialising in them would be all over the place. I would often be tempted to go in and just buy one: I quite liked the ones with onion on them, though liked poppy seed as well. My family occasionally would enjoy buying a bag of bagels, getting some good quality cream cheese, and serve them up with smoked salmon, or lox, as it is properly known (when combined with a bagel).
I’m not sure I’ve had a bagel in Australia before, and I can’t say my expectations were high, even for a restaurant that specialises in them. You can order from six varieties, and have it smeared with cream cheese or another spread for $6.50 or filled with sandwich fillings for $10, which the pal that I ate with pointed out is cheap for lunch in Surry Hills. The restaurant is casual. You order at the counter. You can see the kitchen in the back, slightly raised above the rest of the place.
And… well. My bagel, an ‘everything’, filled with pastrami, and with two pickles on the side was basically perfect and my pal was very happy with his vegetarian variety (and a nice side of roasted kipfler potatoes). Very nice. Recommended.