There is an outdoor dining section in Hotel Bondi, facing the beach for those craving a bit of salt air - gas heaters are on hand when the temperature drops, and three distinct indoor sections which all serve well for group dining and socialising. On Friday and Saturday nights one area hosts Bondi Beats where DJs mix music, get the good vibes flowing, and maybe even lure a few patrons to the dance floor.
The cocktail menu features drinks that are light, refreshing and very much suited to the warm and sunny weather best associated with Bondi Beach. My friend got an Aperol Spritz which had a nice hint of citrus and a bit more kick than he expected while I went for a Gordons Gin Berry Fizz because
I like gin and berries.
For starters we had salt and pepper calamari (below) and arancini with tomato and mozzarella. The aroma from the calamari had my mouth watering when it came out - it had a lightly crumbed, crispy batter and melt-in- your-mouth flesh. Topped with grated parmesan, the arancini also had a nice, crispy exterior with a satisfyingly savoury filling. My favourite aspect of the arancini was that the rice grains were still firm enough that their texture added to the enjoyment of eating them.
Our mains were chicken parmigiana (below) and rib eye on the bone (400gm dry aged Kilcoy) with a side of pumpkin, beetroot and quinoa salad. Firstly, I have to say that the portions are generous so you should have no need to order more unless you have a behemoth appetite. The napoli sauce provides a nice, tomatoey tartness to cut through the richness of the layer of caramelised cheese that smothers the parmigiana – which is tender and juicy.
My rib eye looks glorious as it arrives, char-grilled and served with some bone marrow and a side of coleslaw that is lighter, less creamy, and more acidic – perfect, in my eyes, to accompany this dish than a heavier, creamier kind. It is a delight to eat (still slightly pink and juicy) and the bone marrow is just decadent. The salad is lightly dressed
allowing you to really taste the ingredients which have a great flavour and firm texture making it a salad you can look forward to eating rather than a soggy, mushy thing that you order because you’ll feel better thinking you had some vegetables.
The menu at Hotel Bondi is solid with a number of pub classics and a handful of more modern offerings which, from what I tasted, are made incredibly well. The food and drink, as well as decor, are well suited to the beach image of Bondi and are great for casual dining and drinks whatever size
your group. I definitely recommend a visit after a long day at the beach.
This post was written by QHL. Weekend Food Escapes dined as guests of Bondi Hotel. All words, opinions and photos are from QHL.