The Eastern at Bondi Junction has received a new facelift, and one that will help you unwind and reward yourself for your hard work. The fun was only completed about a week ago, with three new fabulous and unique venues for all Sydneysiders to enjoy. Let's eat, drink and get merry together. At the VIP Launch event, yours truly was rewarded with an exceptional opportunity; one where I was able to experience not one, but three exciting new venues all under one roof in chic and cosmopolitan Bondi.
So elegant, albeit so homely at The Publican at The Eastern, Bondi Junction.
First of all, it was great to spend the first of three hours at The Publican. This bar is at the street level. We were greeted with an abundance of Sydney ciders in cocktail, wine and champagne glasses. So wonderful. Beer is even back in vogue here too. It felt like one of Gatsby's parties (maybe on a slightly smaller scale). This popular bar is funky today, yet it feels like you're living in the 1930's and nowehere near Sydney or Bondi for that matter. Far from the waves. The ambience is cool, different and so old school. The Publican boasts that well travelled, old school theme with an abundance of postcards above a look alike fireplace, as well as decor that takes you back in time without feeling outdated.
Kudos to these three guys for some amazing jaffles
Even better, the Sydney ciders and beers were well complimented with a Jaffle Bar - with the three amigos slaving away for our jaffle enjoyment. There were a great array of different jaffles to try on opening night, featuring ingredients that included eggs, cheese, mushrooms and chilli to name a few. You just did not know what you were going to expect next. Who would have though that songs such as Powderfinger's 'My Happiness' would blend in so beautifully in the Gatsby-like ambience. A highly recommended chill out locale.
Oh what a night - awesome ambience at The Publican.
It was time to ditch the beers, waffles and ciders and head to Greek and vino paradise at Anatoli's on the next level up. No doubt the chefs (and wait staff) worked super, super hard to bring us an abundance of canapés. This is where (for a change) the food defeated the drinks heads down. A choice of a drop of red wine (which yours truly went for) or a glass of sparkling white or vodka said goodbye to Sydney cider for now. We are now expecting more class, more Gin Mill Social type of fare. Good news, for those Sydneysiders who need a bit of a reprieve from the fast paced lifestyle of our dynamic city, you can either take your date out for some finer dining fare, or head to the other side of the bar closer to Oxford Street for some laid back, casual dining.
The first canapé at Anatoli's: Taramasalata on Croutons
All the the canapés were a treat; they included Greek lamb belly with walnuts, taramasalata on croutons (so creamy), wild green and goats curd pie, whitebait and whitebean skordalia, pork terrine and fig, as well as scallop and nettle with barley, celebriac and preserved lemon. Definitely some fancy canapé fare served in abundance for sure, a great taster to some quality Greek cuisine.
Next stop: goodbye Europe and hello Mexico. After two hours and a few too many drinks, jaffles and canapés, it was time to end an amazing launch night with a sweet Mexican cocktail. That's right some sweet rum with a lemony twist. Thanks to Chimmi's, rum cantina was certainly on the menu, and many people were eagerly queuing up at the bar for more. It was tricky getting the cocktails out of their spots on dedicated Coca Cola trays, and the ambience was clearly laid back. Like a Mexican escape with social food at El Topo on the next level. Wacky ambience, and a tranquil, cosy space to get you into a euphoric state, albeit temporarily. There is even a dedicated smoking space in the far right hand side as you walk into this space at The Eastern. This is where party-goers have prayed to let their hair down some more, and lo and behold their prayers have been answered. Then again, good news does come in threes. Thank you The Eastern, your improvements have paid off for all of Sydney. Cheers to that.