3 Steps: Original, Brave and Exciting
With its vintage layout, odd opening hours and mixture of Turkish fare and fun, kiosk-style food, The 3 Steps Café has become a must visit destination for local foodies. Its unheralded arrival has surprised many food fossickers, including myself, but don’t bother trying to find these guys on Instagram.
So underground is this café, in fact, that nobody is quite sure when 3 Steps actually opened. Given that local foodies have only begun posting about it in the last few weeks, we can safely assume it has only been in operation for a month or so.
I first heard of 3 Steps while waiting for a table at a trendy North Bondi bistro. Between chatter about how much coke they had done the night before, and plans to make vegan brownies that afternoon, I overheard a group of girls in their very early twenties mention that an ‘influencer’ had just checked in at some new joint on Bondi Road.
I needed to check this place out. The very next morning I found myself strolling up Bondi Road in search of this mysterious underground establishment. As soon as I saw the Coca-Cola sponsored sign hanging over the footpath I immediately understood why 3 Steps was being touted as the hottest new café in the East.
The 3 Steps Café, in a nutshell, can be described as ‘take-away café chic’. The layout of the split-level room is a refreshing deviation from the usual pseudo-rustic interior most cafés in the area have opted for. Rather than dark timbre furniture and exposed brick, 3 Steps has retained its golden oak floors and VJ lining, and the tables are yellow with black polka dots.
The dining area upstairs features two large mirrors strategically hung from opposing walls to create an Instagram friendly environment. The other walls are a genius mixture of Aboriginal artwork, water colours, football jerseys and random family photos. A secluded back room offers views across the suburb and it is said that regulars are allowed to smoke in there. An ashtray resting on a set of shelves in the corner suggests there may be some truth to this rumour.
The menu is an incredibly original mixture of Turkish cuisine, kiosk fare and playfully themed breakfasts. A bain-marie is stocked full of deep fried classics including dim sims, chicken wings and even chiko rolls. An open kitchen means kebabs, burgers and focaccias are made right in front of you.
The Turkish flatbread encasing my lamb kebab was warm and puffy and its contents were brightened by a fresh, minty tzatziki. A pleasingly plump dim sim was coated in a crispy golden crust and housed a delightful combination of seasoned mixed meats.
The breakfast menu includes dishes such as the ‘Tradesman’s paradise’ (bacon, egg, sausage, mushrooms, hash browns, beans, chips and steak) – a clever nod to the types who would have attended this style of establishment back in the day. The drinks menu has all the classics including Coca-Cola, Lipton Ice Tea and Monster Energy. Excellent coffee is served in understated brown cups.
3 Steps’ brave and unusual opening hours speak volumes of its desire to break the typical café mould, opening at 4.30am every morning and closing as late as 1am on Friday and Saturday nights, and every item on the menu is always available. I’m going to go out on a limb here and call this the most original, brave and exciting establishment to open in Bondi in recent memory.
The 3 Steps Café
Address 113 Bondi Road
Phone 9369 5728
Open Sun-Thu 4.30am-10pm; Fri 4.30am-1am; Sat 4.30am-12am
Prices Wraps and Kebabs around $12, Breakfast around $16
Cards Master, Visa, Amex