03 October 2011

North Bondi Italian Food: Italian, Bondi Beach (12 June 2011)

120 Ramsgate Avenue, North Bondi NSW 2026

Location comes at a price

If you love Bondi and aren’t shy of spending a fair bit of money then you’ll probably love North Bondi Italian Food. With apparently a no booking policy you’ll need to be prepared to wait in the crowded noisy bar area during summer, or even winter for that matter, before putting your name down for the restaurant. I didn’t find the service particularly welcoming and friendly which bordered on elitist and unhelpful while enquiring about having a table. Service didn’t seem to take any table bookings until 6 pm so hovering around the chaotic bar area until then was the only way to obtain a table. Once seated the service seemed a bit more friendly and relaxed, perhaps too relaxed at times when our table water wasn’t refilled for most of meal. The Arancini ($19.80) were flavoursome although expensive, if you can afford them then worth trying. The Penne 'rigate' slow cooked lamb neck, shoulder ragu, pecorino sardo ($28.60) was quite nice. The smallish sized Fried Calamari, Mint, Zucchini ($33) was good although also at a premium price that’s probably hard to justify again.

I really enjoyed the Crispy Potatoes, Garlic, Rosemary ($11) with whole roasted cloves of garlic and would happily order again although a bit more crisp would make them even better for me. The Steamed broccoli, garlic, chilli ($13.20) was nicely done although pricey for a single vegetable. My Spaghetti 'Arrabbiata', crab, tomato, a hint of chilli, cooked in a paper bag ($33) was probably the most unpresentable way you can have a dish but that's what you get with bag cooking. There were bits of crab to be found but I think most people would hope to find more. More of a chilli kick would have been appreciated. For dessert you’ll pay a premium price for a sugary hit, especially on Sunday with the 10% surcharge. Eric's Warm 'Americano' apple pie ($19.80) comes with a self pouring vanilla sauce. I preferred the Fresh blueberry, vanilla mascarpone tart ($19.80) with its nice thin pastry and simple yet decadent flavour. The Baked chocolate pot, chocolate pearls ($18.70) was smooth and rich in flavour although quite small in size.

PROS: Quite nice décor and lighting, Some nicely cooked dishes to be had, Beach views during daylight near the window and on balcony although at night you won’t really see much
CONS: Service not particularly welcoming upon arrival, Quite expensive and 10% surcharge on Sundays, Can get quite noisy, Waiting area at bar can get very crowded, No free parking nearby
MUST TRY: Fresh blueberry with vanilla mascarpone tart
WORTH TRYING: Crispy Potatoes with Garlic and Rosemary, Arancini if you can afford them
THE DAMAGE: $213.40 for three people

Complimentary bread and olive oil

Arancini - Crumbed spinach risotto balls ($19.80) — Flavoursome although very expensive

Penne 'rigate' slow cooked lamb neck, shoulder ragu, pecorino sardo ($28.60)

Fried Calamari, Mint, Zucchini ($33)

Crispy Potatoes, Garlic, Rosemary ($11)

Steamed broccoli, garlic, chilli ($13.20)

Spaghetti 'Arrabbiata', crab, tomato, a hint of chilli, cooked in a paper bag ($33)

Eric's Warm 'Americano' apple pie, cinnamon, brown sugar, vanilla sauce ($19.80)

Fresh blueberry, vanilla mascarpone tart ($19.80)

Baked chocolate pot, chocolate pearls, chilled ($18.70)

Cappuccino ($3.85) — pretty decent

Bill $213.40 for three people

Decor and bar

Table setting and cutlery

View from outside the restaurant


Michelle Chin said...

Ooh pasta in a bag! I used to have that once a really long time ago. Don't think I've ever came across it again...

Richard Elliot said...

Check out those prices! At nearly $20 for a main I'd be expecting a lot more...

Tina@foodboozeshoes said...

Presentation is a bit wanting overall...

joey@FoodiePop said...

Location always comes at a price. Food looks quite okay though.

rachel kara said...

I LOVED my squid ink spaghetti...nb: not a dish for a first date, unless you're cool with a black tooth (& face) look you'll need to wipe between every mouthful - but worth it!

Simon Leong said...

hi michelle, a rare sight these days :-)

hi richard, i assume you mean $30 for mains. yep, can get pretty pricey so somewhere i wouldn't be able to eat every day although it was funny to noticed about 5 kids around the dining room sitting down with their families. i wonder if kids eat free, probably not.

hi tina, quite rustic presentation isn't it.

hi joey, location does come at a price indeed, especially if it has some sort of water view.

hi rachel, thanks for the recommendation. definitely one to avoid for a first date hehe

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