As much as I love Melbourne sometimes I do question why I live here. Particularly after I get back from a week of sunshine and beach time in Sydney to rain and chilly temperatures. I think if I lived in Sydney I’d feel like I was permanently on holiday, especially if I lived beach side in Bondi. That’s where I spent most of my time on my most recent trip to Sydney for a very special family wedding.
My brother in law and his new wife (congratulations!) live a very Bondi lifestyle of morning surfing and yoga and any excuse to wander down to the beach. Visits to Sydney always involve checking out a few new cafes and restaurants in the area and of course a visit to the best ice-cream store in Sydney. So here’s my guide to where to eat in Bondi:
1. The Bucket List
Beach side eating doesn’t get closer to the sand than at The Bucket List. Right on the foreshore of Bondi beach, Bucket List is a casual place with the name coming from the service of most meals in a bucket. At lunch time it’s a great place to relax with a glass of crisp pinot grigio ($9) and a bucket of fat, juicy prawns ($25) while in the evening there’s more of a party atmosphere with a DJ and buckets of fish and chips to help soak up the booze.
Details: The Bucket List, Bondi Pavilion, Queen Elizabeth Drive, Bondi Beach, Sydney, 2026 (Ph: 02 9365 4122)
2. Lox Stock & Barrel
A new discovery this trip thanks to my friend Hannah, Lox Stock & Barrel which is serving up New York deli style food in Bondi’s back streets. It’s hard to go past the bagels which are baked in house every day. I loved the smoked lox bagel ($12) which included a filling of thinly sliced red onions, some salty capers and a thick smear of cream cheese. Lox, Stock & Barrel also opens for dinner in the evenings.
Details: Lox Stock & Barrel, 140 Glenayr avenue, Bondi NSW (Ph 02 9300 0368)
Damage: Such a bargain my mum would approve.
3. Brown Sugar
Brown Sugar is a cafe I visit every trip to Sydney mainly due to its sensational brunches. One of the best dishes is the Black Stone eggs ($15) which includes poached eggs served on english muffins with bacon and slow roasted tomatoes. The home made hash browns on the side are as good as you’ll get anywhere. The Moroccan eggs ($17) is also worth ordering with sweet slow cooked spiced capsicum and tomatoes surrounding a poached egg. The sides here are baby spinach and toasted turkish bread spiced with za’atar. This trip I also went to Brown Sugar for dinner which proved to be equally as good – particularly the zucchini flowers stuffed with Provolone.
Details: Brown Sugar, 106 Curlewis Street Bondi NSW (Ph 02 9130 1566)
4. The Corner House
The minute a slab of home made focaccia lands on your table at The Corner House you know you are in for a treat. The food is simple, classic and enthusiastically Italian. Crab and mascarpone ravioli ($30) was simple and light although the portion erred on the small size. The veal cutlet ($32) was more generous and arrived coated in a thick crust of golden bread crumbs with a side of thinly sliced celeriac. It’s simple, satisfying foodconfidently executed.
Details: The Corner House,281 Bondi Rd, Bondi (Ph 02 8020 6698)
5. Gelato Messina
Gelato Messina is by far my favourite ice-cream shop in Sydney and I am super excited it is set to open in Melbourne THIS WEEK. The gelato is smooth and creamy, just like in Italy and the flavours are crazy but always delicious. My new favourite is toasted coconut and mango which is refreshing but addictive at the same time. There are always queues out the front here, and with one lick you will discover why.
Details: Gelato Messina, 61 Hall street, Bondi NSW (Ph 02 8354 1223)
Damage: Reasonable. $4.50 a scoop.
Gourmet Travel Tips
- Flights start from $133 one way from Melbourne to Sydney with Qantas.
- Stay at Blue Sydney in Woolloomooloo. It’s incredibly glamorous, located in old wool warehouses on a pier set over Sydney harbour. From the rooms you can see yachts bobbing on the harbour with Sydney’s botanic gardens framing the city. Essentially this is a location that cannot be beaten. Blue Sydney, 6 Cowper Wharf Rd Woolloomooloo NSW 2011 (Ph (02) 9331 9000) Rooms start at $218 a night. 8/10
- For things to do check out my list for 24 hours in Sydney (plus there’s some more restaurant tips as well).