A marketing coordinator that enjoys reviewing in her spare time. Living in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney - on the brink of something fabulous!
Published July 15th 2012
Towards the end of November 2011, the new Bondi Hardware was revealed. The iconic hardware shop, once home for local tradesman and DIY enthusiasts, had undergone a complete transformation and reopened its doors as a buzzy and trendy bar and restaurant.
The menu is designed with the 'global share-style' (read: tapas) ethos in mind, and includes specialty dishes such as king fish carpaccio and prosciutto wrapped bocconcini along with old favourites like garlic prawns and salt & pepper squid.
Not to be outdone by the food, the bar list ensures you won't go thirsty; with a wine list that includes a mix of classic and modern varieties from AUS and NZ regions along with blends from across the globe. Then there's the cocktail list, compiled by owner Hamish Watts, the list features classic martinis and signature blends such as the Loco Coco (whole young coconut loaded with Havana Blanco, lime and coconut syrup). If you're in a group - go for a jug though. We sampled the 'Zombie' and weren't disappointed. It's fruity and sweet.
Dining at Bondi Hardware doesn't come cheap though (a trip here will cost you significantly more than it would have this time last year when you were after a hammer and some nails). Share plates range from $16 -$19 and can be shared between 3-4 people as a maximum. The menu recommends 3-4 plates per couple. Pizzas are sized at about four medium slices and range between $10 -$20, and sliders (mini burgers) are $20 for four. Unfortunately no one told us, until it came time to order, that they'd run out of buns and sliders were unavailable that night.
The potted duck legs with pear and apple chutney, red cabbage and sour cherry toast was different than expected. The duck was a mix of small pieces and shreds and was a bit fatty. Beside it sat two dishes and under the dim lighting of Bondi Hardware, it was difficult to see what was in them.
This was one of the stars of the meal - the braised shin of beef with seasonal vegetables, braising liquor and soft polenta. The beef had a 'melt in the mouth' texture and the sauce was flavoursome and perfect over the polenta - a real winter dish.
Carrying through the theme, the cutlery arrived in a stamped wooden box that had the boys at the table chatting about the craftsmanship and reminiscing about woodwork classes at school.
Also open for breakfast, Bondi Hardware seems to do it all. It also has a half/half booking situation whereby they take bookings up to a point and reserve the rest of the seating for walk-ins. Be warned though, if you're taking the walk-in option the wait can be up to 45 minutes an hour.
Bondi Hardware is a great spot for breakfast, lunch, dinner and drinks, albeit a bit noisy. However, don't go in too hungry as the dishes are small for the price and you'll leave still peckish or with empty wallets.