Bowled Over By The BBCAs an American, I admit I know nothing about lawn bowling – where are the pins and the lanes? Even if you have never rolled a jack before, the recently revamped Bondi Bowling Club (BBC) is a place where all are welcome to relax, have fun and fill up on great pub food.
The BBC is certainly historic; the clubhouse first opened in 1935 and has been serving beer and pies ever since. Somewhat hidden away in a residential part of Bondi, its easiest to get there by heading along Old South Head Road towards Rose Bay and taking a right onto Warners Avenue after passing Barracluff Park. The complex is home to two lawn greens and a handful of clay tennis courts.
As Luke, one of the managers, explained, the menu has been refreshed, though it is still a ‘pub kitchen’ with big servings, fresh local produce, and plenty of flavour. This point was reinforced by the fact they had run out of the fish of the day and their new spicy wings by the time my companions and I arrived, because they don’t keep any frozen ingredients. One key aspect of the improved food offering is new head chef, Zac Pauling, who has raised the bar in the kitchen.
Taking a center table on the patio, we began with a crisp jug of Lovedale Lager, which came from one of the 18 beer taps (mostly craft) that can be found along the original 15-metre bar top.
While the menu boasts all the standard pub fare, it is the quality of the BBC food that makes it stand out. We started with the BBQ pork ribs with smoked molasses barbecue sauce, which were so tender and juicy the meat fell off the bone. Vegetarian nachos with pickled jalepeño and red pepper salsa, sour cream and guacamole followed soon after and we rounded off our appetisers with the salt and pepper calamari with soy and chilli glaze and a Thai herb salad.
Once dusk approached, we took another jug of Lovedale inside the spacious clubhouse, where you can find a comfortable seating option in one of the three main rooms.
For mains we took down the juicy BBC burger, a chutney and beef pie, and the honey-roasted pumpkin salad with salted macadamias, quinoa, Spanish onion, chickpeas, marinated feta, and a charred mandarin vinaigrette. The pie was the standout, with its flaky crust being torn away to reveal a pot of tangy goodness inside.
At the end of the day, the BBC is much more than just a bowling club; it’s a hip venue with high quality food, great drinks and a relaxing atmosphere. In short, the BBC will bowl you over.
Bondi Bowling Club
Address | 1 Warners Avenue, Bondi
Phone | (02) 9130 2383
Website | www.bondibowlingclub.com
Email | firstname.lastname@example.org
Open | Mon–Thur, 3pm-11pm; Fri–Sat, 12pm–late; Sun, 12pm-11pm
Prices | Starters from $16, Mains $18-32, Salads $18
Seats | 200+
Cards | All major cards
Licensed | Yes