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Buckler’s Cafe: Ben Would’ve Been Proud

By Dining Dave - Instagram @diningdave on July 15, 2016 in Food

Photo: Grant Brooks

Photo: Grant Brooks

Could the view be any better? That was my first thought as I sat down inside the very new Buckler’s Café, perched above Bondi Beach on Ramsgate Avenue near the North Bondi RSL, a position that provides a view that makes the coffee, juices and fresh food taste even better. To clarify: this is not an offshoot of the now defunct Buckler’s Canteen, which, to the consternation of co-owner Jackson Wallace, comes up first on Google searches. The name comes from the legend of Ben Buckler, the convict (or possibly bushranger), who is presumed to have fallen to his death off Bondi’s northern headland in the 1800s.

Arriving on a sunny Wednesday at midday, Jackson – a tall, pleasant bloke who owns the place with his mum and dad – explained that they only opened at the start of March and are still discovering what Buckler’s can, and should, be. Jackson wants his café to be a place where locals and tourists can share Whitehorse coffee, Botanica juices, brekky, brunch, beers and wines together. I think he’s on to something. The persona of Buckler’s is captured in their bearded interpretation of Ben, and the desire to create a café that he himself would feel comfortable in.

Dining alone this time around, I started with a lovely cappuccino and stared at the beach. The décor is simple and calming, with white brick tiles, black walls and wooden waves hanging over you. The menu is mainly breakfast creations, but being lunchtime I opted for the special: smoked pork belly with pea puree, soft boiled egg and herb salad, and an Acai berry smoothie to wash it down.

The smoothie was a cup of purple perfection, with hints of raspberry peeking through. Only a hotter day would have made it more refreshing. At first I was taken aback by the pork belly, as I’d never really considered combining peas, smoked pork and a boiled egg before, but Dash, the head chef, made it work extremely well. The presentation on a black plate highlighted all the green and white elements and the smoky flavour of the pork meshed beautifully with the runny egg and pea puree.

Wanting to try more, I ordered one of the Buckler’s signature jaffles, the one with pepperoni. Not only were the concentric triangles seared into the bread eye-catching, the gooey cheese and pepperoni filling was a taste sensation. The jaffles are a big hit with the surfers, Jackson told me, and I can see why.

Buckler’s also offers yummy desserts from the well-known Luxe bakery, but I chose to indulge in an in-house baked blueberry muffin, which was served with a side of warm butter to slather over it.

Overall, while still young, Bucker’s is on the right path. Even old Ben himself would probably agree.

Buckler’s Cafe
Address 128 Ramsgate Avenue, North Bondi
Phone 0414455765
Insta @bucklersbrew
Open Mon – Fri 6am – 5pm
Prices $12 – $18
Cards Accepted Yes
Licensed /BYO Licensed