The old hardware shop on Hall St is now a Bondi Hardware bar
There are many things you can do with a slice of cucumber. I prefer it in my Hendricks and tonic. Some prefer to compensate for their lack of ability to grow a moustache. That aside, there are plenty of things to keep you occupied at Bondi Hardware so most normal patrons shouldn’t need to invent games with vegetables to have a good time.
For starters, they play really good tunes at the perfect volume for a first date. It’s not so loud you can’t hear the other person speak but it’s loud enough to reduce the affect of an awkward silence. They also have attentive staff.
Having lived in Bondi for five years I knew all about the original ‘Hardware’ on Hall St. The place to go for a hammer not a friendly chat. This new bar and restaurant is a different story. Here you’ll find hammers a plenty on the back wall and friendly, laid-back staff full of hospitable banter.
Owners Hamish Watts and Ben Carroll come from a hospitality background and judging the buildings makeover they’re also quit the handymen.
The menu is diverse offering mainly share style options with a few individual salads on offer. I think the best way to approach this menu is with a few friends and order plenty of things to try. For me, some dishes are hit and miss but with nothing terribly wrong it comes down to personal taste. The mezze plate with olives, tomato, haloumi, prosciutto, marinated artichokes, grilled octopus and kofta with sour dough toasts ($27) sounds like a winning starter. It tastes fine but I wonder if the guys in the kitchen are having a competition to see how much food they can stack on one plate.
We order the sliders and four perfect mini gourmet cheeseburgers with pickeled red onion, gherkins and tomato relish ($20) come out on a wooden board. Order these with a side of pickle chips and you’re in the business. Yum!
Our vego friend orders the white wine sauteed Forest mushrooms on soft polenta ($15) and although I don’t usually love polenta this dish is unreal. Of the salads i’d say opt for the nicoise of ocean trout with tomato, olives, capers, kipfler potato green beans, boiled egg and white balsamic dressing ($18). The ocean trout is seared lightly and it would be great for lunch or dinner. The slow roasted spiced lamb shoulder with roasted capsicum, hummus, coriander, yoghurt, rocket and marinated feta ($18) is too heavy on the dressing for my liking. I’m always suspect about this…what are you hiding under all that dressing?
One of my favourite dishes on the menu isn’t always on there. They’d run out of kingfish so we had tuna ceviche with avocado and toasted baguette ($18) instead. Delicious. There’s some zesty lemon in the avocado mix that makes this dish complete.
Make sure you save room for dessert, the banana and nutella pizza and the apple and rhubarb crumble are delectable.
This is a winning formula for Bondi Beach. Reasonably priced, share style food with generous portions. They are vego and gluten free friendly and the boys at Bondi Hardware are very accommodating. It’s a great for a first date, catch up with a small group of friends for lunch or dinner. I’ll be back to try their breakfast!
Things you can do with a cucumber skin
39 Hall St, Bondi Beach
02 93 65 7176
Open Mon-Wed 5-10pm. Thur-Fri midday-midnight. Sat 9am-midnight. Sun 9am-10pm