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The Bucket List @ Bondi Beach

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by Veronica Strangio (subscribe)
A freelance writer living in Melbourne, Veronica Strangio has been enjoying writing since childhood. She is especially interested in holistic wellness, community events and nature.
Published December 8th 2012
One for the bucket list
Delicious seafood at the Bucket List

There are several cafes and restaurants with magnificent beach views along Elizabeth Drive in Bondi. The Bucket List Bar and Eatery offers this and more. I stumbled across this pearl quite accidentally on one of my visits to Sydney. I knew I wanted to have lunch in Bondi and was looking for a place by the sea with lots of fresh air, open spaces, friendly staff and an excellent menu. However, I also needed to catch up on some work and found that several restaurants I initially approached did not offer Wi-Fi. "Try the Bucket List," suggested a young lady noticing my frustrations.

Breathtaking view

Armed with a laptop as well as dark glasses to repel the gleaming rays of the sun, I wondered why I wore black leather boots for a stroll by the beach. Perhaps my Melburnian 'be ready for any type of weather' attitude influenced me here. In any case, as I whisked my back pack over the shoulder, I imagined I was Clint Eastwood walking along a dusty track smack bang in the middle of a hot Californian summer. Each stride I made was with focus and determination until I reached The Bucket List - my saloon of sweltry salvation was reached.

Bounty; bite in a bucket and beer

Situated right opposite the beach and next to the Pavillion which is one of Bondi's landmarks, the Bucket List has three main dining areas which are quite large. All up it caters for approximately 450 people and is perfect for any occasion. Whether you want to have lunch with a friend, have a girls' night out or cater for your staff's Christmas function, this is the place to go. Little buckets hold cutlery on each table a lovely reminder that we can also develop an appetite for life by creating our own bucket list while satisfying the squeals of our stomachs.

Fred with son Lucas

The Stanley Family enjoying fish and chips

Families with children are most welcome and made to feel at home instantly. My little chat with Fred, who is a regular patron, says that the grilled barramundi is his favourite. "There's lots of space for my son Lucas to play and the back is kid friendly." I had a stroll around and would have to agree with him. The Stanley family (who were visiting from Perth) mentioned that the reason they were there was because they read a review that The Bucket List served the best fish and chips in the area.

Owner Mr Andy Ruwald has managed The Bucket List since 1994. He has placed an exquisite tortoise carved in wood in a convenient nook. A little look under the shell reveals a domain where tiny tots can exercise their imagination with chalk and board. This is simply good thinking on behalf of Mr Ruwald who has not only created a little piece of paradise for parents, but also a gallery of fine artwork by James Brown. Further information on this artist can be found by clicking here.

Born and bred in Sydney, Mr Ruwald promotes the use of recyclable materials. "All the crates are made from recyclable materials." Questioning him further he stated that the key to the success of The Bucket List is a combination of friendly staff, quality seafood and an ambiance where people feel welcome, relaxed and inspired. His ultimate quest is to have "everyone leave with a smile on their face." Given the following points, he has achieved his mission a many times over:

Nothing over $30 on the menu
No bookings are taken
Queues to get in after 2pm Fridays and Saturdays
Licensed bar
Delicious fresh seafood
Beach views
DJ Saturdays and Sundays
Live music Wednesday evenings
Large, open spaces
Qualified and friendly staff
Inspiring artwork
Wi-Fi access
Soothing music

Andy Ruwald

Andy Ruwald with some of his staff members
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Why? Nothing over $30
When: Monday to Sunday 11am to midnight
Phone: (02) 9365 4122
Where: The Bondi Pavilion - Queen Elizabeth Drive - Bondi Beach Sydney - NSW - Australia
Cost: Nothing over $30
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