Bondi Trat­to­ria at Bondi Beach.

New own­ers have brought a breath of fresh sea-air to this laid-back beach­side diner, where tasty food is served with a breezy non­cha­lance

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - Stellar - - Contents - BONDI TRAT­TO­RIA: RE­VIEWED BY AN­THONY HUCK­STEP

WHAT we de­sire from restau­rants has changed over the last five years. In many ways we’ve turned our noses up at the pointy, finer end of din­ing in favour of a casual, less ex­pen­sive, more en­er­getic ex­pe­ri­ence. It’s not as if these places never ex­isted, but a re­newed fo­cus on pro­duce and pro­fes­sion­al­ism has helped en­hance their pro­lif­er­a­tion.

Bondi Trat­to­ria has been feed­ing Bondi folk for over two decades and it’s had its fair share of peaks and troughs. But The Tratt, as it’s af­fec­tion­ately known, is back thanks to a cou­ple of pros that cut their teeth in the high end, but yearned for a dif­fer­ent sun­set.

New own­ers chef Joe Pavlovich and man­ager Alasdair France were key cogs in the Luke Man­gan em­pire, but have sought to re-en­er­gise them­selves with a hands-on eatery that’s fast be­com­ing the hub of the com­mu­nity again.

You can dine al­fresco but, at the mo­ment, it’s prob­a­bly best to step in­side where it’s warmer. It’s fam­ily friendly, all about the shared feast and free from fuss. Tex­tured cream walls, pas­tel green pan­elling, clas­sic bistro chairs and mis­matched crock­ery give a nice, homely touch.

Chef Pavlovich’s gen­er­ous servings con­tinue the no­tion where noth­ing is ground­break­ing, but it’s not break­ing the bank either. A dense tarama dip ben­e­fits from shav­ings of bot­targa. Roasted bugs and buf­falo moz­zarella wade in gar­lic and chilli but­ter.

A beef tartare gets a hit of flavour from shaved horse­rad­ish, while tooth­some casarecce pasta comes with a lamb ragu that’s mag­ni­fied by shi­itake mush­rooms.

There’s a chateaubriand for two and you can still get pizza as well as the sig­na­ture tuna an­gel hair pasta too, with a slightly seared twist. Mostly though, all the fo­cus is on the diner, which makes for a nice (sea) change.

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