So you are on the one and only Bondi beach and the water temperature is a glorious 23 degrees Celsius on a beautiful Sydney summer's day in January. What more is there? Well why not try the latest pop up eatery to hit the eastern suburbs. Coincidently soaking up the rays and taking a plunge in the surf are prerequisites to attending the new venue that goes by the name of The Bucket List. Presumably this would indicate a place that you must try before you die. However, the eatery has a clever and unique theme where all the dishes on the menu are served in metal buckets hence its namesake. And yes a bucket is even included with the chilled beers that you will evidently order from its two internal bars.
Conveniently located right on Bondi Beach at the Bondi Pavilion, it is hard to see how you could wine and dine at an establishment any closer to the beach let alone the famous Bondi Beach. Advertised as a pop up "bar" and "eatery", it allows for a casual atmosphere with the outdoor seating usually the first to go. The venue has quickly become popular with locals and Sydneysiders alike. Sundays seem to be its more popular day where the outdoor seating appears full from 1pm onwards with a crowd of people consulting the door personnel. Don't let that deter you though as there is plenty of room to experience inside.
The bar/eatery concept can be a complicated one though. The door personnel would lead you to believe that to get in you require a seat as it is a licensed restaurant. So you can't exactly stand at the bar to wait for a seat to be available at its busier times. However, rather than a quick turn over as you would expect from other pop up restaurants where patrons eat their meals, pay the bill and get out of there, its bar tag tends to allow people to linger potentially drinking until the sun goes down. As a result don't be surprised if the prime spot you desire is not vacated until hours later.
But again this gives the hot spot its buzz and atmosphere. It is a jovial and relaxed eatery with a casual vibe. In this case there is no need to dress up after you have had a swim at the beach. Though be prepared to cross paths with ladies in their best Sunday party dresses and stiletto heels as the afternoon wears on. It can be a confusing demographic, so my advice to the ladies is that you may be up for a fashion showdown in spite of its casual nature.
Now to the important part which is the food. Again the "bar" tag has directed its menu selections. It is essentially pub food. But what better way to eat pub food than by the beach? All food must be ordered from the bar and is delivered to your table accordingly by its wait staff. Its signature dish appears to be its fish and chips in a bucket. The prawns and sourdough also seem to be popular.
The presentation is effective as you watch buckets of prawns bulging from the brim arriving at nearby tables. I went for the bucket of fish and chips which will set you back $23. It comes with sides of pickles and no way near enough tartar sauce. As they say "greed is good", but in this case the dish is an extremely decent feed. There are higher end dishes on the menu although most patrons appear to go for the food to accompany their alcoholic beverages rather than vice versa.
The venue's design features are also effective. From its stacked wooden pallets as tables to its wooden cutlery, the theme is pleasant. The current surf conditions written in chalk are also a nice touch.
The Bucket List is great for lazy drinks with good friends on a summer Sunday afternoon. It's probably not for people in search of stimulating gastronomy. Its strength, however, lies in its location and ambience. It goes without saying that the views of Bondi beach from the venue are awe inspiring. The venue gives you the impression that it is the place to be during the summer, sharing times with Bondi's beautiful people. It is a definite must try.
Tried anything else on the menu? Feel free to leave your comments.
I did go there the other week with an american visitor. We had great Kosiosko Beer, which I never knew existed, had a cheese platter, that was a little bare I must admit. The girl from Washington was looking to be impressed. The cheese platter was simple - with a gouda or tasty and a blue cheese. Minimalistic in presentation, highly edible, yet it didnt impress the international traveller much.
It does look lovely but I am not that keen on Bondi Beach, really I wouldn't pay $23.50 for fish and chips because it's a lovely view of Bondi Beach. It is a little bit sad that all the tourists think Bondi Beach is the place to go. Yes, I know it is the closest beach in Sydney but it is a crap beach, and full of wankers, If the fish and chips are really really good, have the fish and chips, and do the walk to Bronte. It is fabulous. Almost as good as the Cronulla, Coogee and Palm Beach.