My first impression of walking into this place was that I had stumbled on another hipster (or homeless) pop-up bar. Since the summer of 09/10 Bondi has had dozens of these tiny bars which seemly pop-up and disappear in the blink of an eye. Much to the dismay of their customers, who then flock onto the next place that suits their "aesthetic" (the latest review in Timeout)
Sick of the false hipsters of Bondi? Then it is time to escape to a place which is reminiscent of a time and place when such things didn't exist. This true representation of Bondi is exceptional in every way. Food. Wine. Coffee. Cheer.
How wrong could I have been? Well, let's just say that I have lived in Bondi my whole life and there is not another place I would rate as highly as this place. This amalgamation of good food, wine, cheese, coffee and delicious sweet treats isn't delivered in an ostentatious "oh really you have never heard of tempranillo?" way. But rather a warm friendly atmosphere of genuinely lovely staff. Sure the atmosphere is casual, but did Bondi really need another pretentious wine bar? I vote no! It is that cool kid in the corner of the party who isn't trying to be cool. He/She just is!
Why do I speak so highly of this joint? Well, everyone who knows me (and reads me) knows that I am a coffee snob. I was first allured by the delicious aromas and whispered sweet promises to me. Allpress Espresso is a Kiwi brand which is rapidly gaining a following in Sydney and Aus. The blend is usually aromatic meaning that is floral, caramelly, malty, rich, rounded, nutty, strong and sweet it does vary from barista to barista but I am yet to be disappointed.
The difference with this joint is on my first visit the staff greeted me warmly and asked me my name, the second time they remembered my name and by the third my coffee. Such personal service is almost impossible to come by, especially in the Bondi hospitality scene. Everyone knows everyone, but no-one really seems to care.
I have only recently been trying their food and wine. One word, incredible. Their wine list puts Tetsuya's to shame and all of their food is beautifully presented and tastes as good as it looks. I either get a pasta with a nice glass of chardonnay (this isn't dry and woody, I usually don't drink much white at all) or a cheese platter with a nice robust red usually a tempranillo or a malbec. Coffee, dinner and wine usually sets me back $25-30, they could charge a lot more for such high quality wine, cheese and food but that's just another thing that screams authentic Bondi, realistic price point.
They have regular events, from wine-tastings (with the wine-makers), game nights with mulled wine and different quirky things-to-do.
So as you may have gathered by now this place is my favourite cafe in Sydney, not only does it have amazing coffee and food, the staff are beyond friendly, they are open from 6.30am most days and shut between 9-10pm most nights and it doesn't cost an arm and a leg. Oh and did I mention it's not 20 metres from my house?