Bondi Beach hasn't been known for being the mecca of Asian restaurants but that has changed with the opening of China Diner in late March 2014. The latest venue from Steve Anastasiou (China Doll, China Lane and China Beach) and Kingsley Smith from (Kingsleys Steakhouse Group and Chophouse). Their design has embraced the casual beachside dining that is preferred by the bronzed locals. You can step right off the beach, shake off the sand and casually sit around the impressive bar. Casual front of house combined with a more formal dining experience towards the rear of the venue provides options for all moods and attire.
The bar is a main feature, sexy and moody with subdued lighting supplied with hanging lightbulbs, bricks and timber. You can imagine a few big nights here with your behind firmly planted on a stool becoming more wobbly as the night moves on. Bar Manager and Cocktail extraordinaire Quynh Van Nguyen offers a large selection of spirits, beers and an impressive range of kick arse cocktails that have been carefully created with textural oriental elements and bold to light flavours to suit every mood. An interesting wine list has also been created by sommelier Clint Hillery, showcasing new and creative wine makers as well as some much loved favourites.
Lemongrass & Coconut Sour - Lemongrass infused Absolut Elyx Vodka, citrus and sugar with coconut foam $18.00 image source China Diner FB
The front dining area encourages casual communal dining with a central long table with a shanghai street kitchen feel. More seating areas stretch further back, with more intimate cosy banquette booths for smaller groups.
If you just want to sit at the bar and nibble your way through the menu, then get started with some small bites. You could pick 'Crispy Whole Son In Law Eggs with Tamarind Chilli Jam and Prawn Floss' though you might need to double check with the waiter what you are actually eating; obviously the Chef Sebastian Gee has a sense of humour!
Crispy Whole Son In Law Eggs with Tamarind Chilli Jam with Prawn Floss $16.00 - image source China Diner FB
If you can't decide on one dish you can always select a few smalls to try out and share with your friends.
If you are feeling the hunger after a big day swimming at Bondi Beach, then why not try the 'Woked Snapper with Indonesian Chilli and Tomato Sambal, Baby Corn and Curry Leaves; a delicious combination of flavours and aroma.
Woked Snapper with Indonesian chilli, tomato sambal, baby corn and curry leaves $32.00 - image source China Diner FB
Of course, you must finish the taste sensations with a dessert of Coconut Sago.
Coconut Sago with seasonal fruit $12.00 image source China Diner FB
If dinner isn't what you had in mind, you can just come by any day from 5pm - 6pm; they have Dim Sum Hour which offers you 6 dumplings and 2 alcoholic drinks for $23.00.
I had heard great reviews about China Diner from different friends that live throughout Sydney and after visiting I could understand why it has become a much loved Bondi restaurant for locals and visitors alike. Drop by and try some chow next time you visit Bondi.