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
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.