Bondi Bar Crawl
After some East side beach action Miss S and I decided some drinking and eating was in order along Bondi Beach. We began at the Bucklers Canteen where I would imagine that a uni student studying pirate 101 would fit right on in. Apart from a few staggering tourists in the arcade area, the vibe is fairly chilled out early on a Wednesday night. Miss S (a local) tells me that last time she was in it was tightly packed. It’s the kind of place where tagging in the toilets and carving your name into the bar is encouraged to achieve the shabby but ever so hip feel. We ordered Tempura fish tacos (papaya relish, fresh lime, sour cream in a soft taco ($12.50 for 2) and some wine, which served by the glass are all $6.50. Not bad prices at all. The fish tacos are a must try (and end up being the food highlight of the night). The white fish crunches delightfully in your mouth, combining with the citrus tang and light zig zag of creamy sauce. The papaya relish adding to the freshness and is an interesting addition to the dish. Although seconds sounded appealing, we knew that we needed to keep going.
Next on our list was the newly opened Bondi Hardware. It was completely packed so we added our name to the list (I knew I should have booked a table) and kept wandering south. We stumbled upon Anchor and managed to score the last table. We ordered 2 glasses of McHenry Semillon Sauvignon Blanc ($8) and the special Kingfish Wings. The staff were incredibly attentive and all to happy to talk you through the menu with great enthusiasm. After having the Kingfish Wings ($17 shareplate) described to us as like the ribs of the fish world we were intrigued. The sauce was a powerful and ultra fragrant concoction of fennel, orange, cumin seeds, harissa and other Moroccan tasting spices with a tomato base. Miss S wasn’t overly impressed with the dish, but I found the flavours interesting and managed to get enough meat off the wings to be satisfied. Anchor’s decor was all about the dark wood, large ropes and the red lit corridor to the bathrooms.
The phone rang. Our table was ready at Bondi Hardware. We weren’t particularly hungry by this point, but had to try out the menu. From the fire section of the menu we ordered the prawn with mint & lemon ($20) pizza. Deciding to settle into its rustic mood on our high stools we ordered a bottle of Bottle Tree Semillon Sauvignon Blanc and surveyed our surroundings. Inspired by a bar in London that kept the name of the old shoe shop it replaced, Bondi Hardware’s interior reflects the name of the hardware shop that use to be here (similar to Darlie Laundromat). The old sign has been kept, but other touches, such as the wall of saws and such have been added to further this theme. I love the fit out with loads of recycled timbers, some touches of green hanging plants, high ceilings and a large brick pizza oven. Unfortunately we weren’t as in love with the pizza, which didn’t quite marry the mint, lemon and prawn flavour. The prawns were delicious and perfectly cooked, but something wasn’t quite right. Some teething problems as can be expected. Will need to come back and try it out again, this time with a booking and an emptier stomach. Until next time Bondi xx