Rocker Bondi – A Versatile Venue Away from the Hustle and BustleNestled up in the far corner of North Bondi at the Ben Buckler shops, Rocker might not be on everyone’s list of go-to restaurants in the area. Many may even be unaware of its existence because it’s located up the hill and away from the hustle and bustle of Bondi Beach. But rest assured, those extra few steps will be worth it, and if you’re feeling super lazy there’s a bus interchange right out the front. You can literally fall off the bus and crawl into the restaurant if you want – or need – to.
Trendy yet welcoming, it’s the perfect restaurant for an intimate date, a catch-up with friends or for dining out with the kids. The decor is modern and relaxing. Both the restaurant and wine bar areas
are stripped back and filled with plants. The space is simple, edging at minimalistic, but still warm.
The dinner menu, served from 5.30pm, is designed to share. It offers a variety of categories including Snacks, Smalls, Bigs, Sides and Sweets, and you are encouraged to choose a few dishes from each category (depending on the size of your group). It’s just as well, really, because most of the dishes sound absolutely amazing and choosing just one would have been extremely difficult, even heartbreaking, for a gluttonous hog like me.
With guidance from the friendly wait staff, I let my dining companion do the picking and she selected a couple of options from each category. Knowing that no self-respecting Welsh person could attend a restaurant with Welsh Rarebit on the menu and not order it, she kindly selected it as our first dish, which satisfied my patriotism.
For those who don’t know, Welsh Rarebit isn’t particularly Welsh at all; it’s actually just cheese on toast. But to our surprise and delight, Rocker’s version of the delicacy is a little different. It’s served as balls, not too dissimilar to arancini. The result is gooey yet textured melted cheese cased in a crispy ball that just melts in your mouth.
What followed was an on- slaught of deliciousness. Dish after dish was brought out to us, each more mouth-watering than the last. Cauliflower hummus with potato bread and fried chicken with buttermilk, chilli and vinegar finished off our selections from the Snacks and Smalls sections. Both were absolutely fantastic.
Next we had the macaroni with pea, pistachio, burnt butter, zucchini and pecorino. This was my favourite dish of the evening. Textured and creamy but not too rich, it was the perfect meal to warm us up whilst watching the worst of Sydney’s winter weather (torrential rain and ridiculous gusts of wind) through the window.
The chargrilled sirloin steak with smoked anchovy butter was also a noteworthy delight. The roast potatoes that accompanied it were cooked to perfection – crispy on the outside, soft on the inside and flavoured with a blend of herbs and spices.
To end the evening, we shared the salted rye and treacle tart, which came with vanilla ice cream. Although we were stuffed from the rest of the dinner, we made sure we found enough room to finish this wonderful dessert. We practically licked the plate.
All in all, Rocker’s dinner menu offers the perfect balance between fanciness and comfort food. The tucker is tasty and the atmosphere is relaxed. They also offer Day, Little Rockers and Group menus, as well as a Pasta and Vino special on Tuesday nights where you can enjoy a two-course meal and a glass of wine for $39.
On Sundays you can sample the best potatoes I’ve had this decade as part of a two-course Sunday Roast that comes with a glass of wine for $35. Also, kids eat free between 4pm and 6pm every day (one kids meal for every adult dining or drinking), so you can make it an affordable outing for the entire family.
If you’re looking for a versatile venue that ticks several boxes, Rocker is definitely the go.
Address 5/39-53 Campbell Parade, North Bondi
Phone 8057 8086
Open Tue 5.30pm-late; Wed-Sun 8am-late (closed Mondays)
Prices Snacks $3-11; Smalls $14- 16; Bigs $24-41; Dessert $10-15
Cards Accepted Visa, Mastercard and Amex