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Drake – The Newest Duck In Town

By Iain Byrne on September 17, 2015 in Food

Photo: Grant Brooks

Photo: Grant Brooks

Finding a restaurant in Bondi is a bit like looking for true love on Tinder. There are plenty of options,:, new ones pop up all the time but don’t stay for long, and the photos don’t bear much resemblance to what you actually find.

Drake Eatery on the corner of Curlewis and Gould Streets in Bondi bucks the trend. Head Chef and owner, Ian Oakes, spent many years honing his skills at the hatted Grand National in Paddo before opening his own place at the start of June. The kitchen is visible from all parts of the restaurant, which gives diners a good insight into what goes on behind the scenes before your food arrives out to the tables, but doesn’t detract from being there at all. When we visited, the place was packed with diners, but the noise was certainly not excessive.

The menu has enough options to keep most people everyone happy, and they can either be shared amongst the table (as was suggested by the waiter), or you can easily eat as individuals or consumed individually. It appears as if the meals on the menu haves been was designed to be comfortable and easy to eat with the devil in the detail, relying on the quality fresh ingredients and the cooking to make them it and a certain je ne sais quois in the kitchen, rather than being too fancy and alienating half of their customers.

The gnocchi with blue cheese, raisins and mushrooms are that we started on was featured fluffy parcels of mouth-tingling deliciousness, the raw fish is coupled with a lovely mix of celery hearts and coriander and the chicken liver parfait has came with a jar of apple and rhubarb chutney that really added a great combination of flavours to the dish.

When we ordered the mains the waiter sounded as if he was pretty keen to sit down and eat it with us, which is always a good sign. Fat chefs and hungry waiters are a good combination. He suggested the Thirlmere duck as his pick, and with the name Drake given the name of the restaurant it and the small wooden ducks smattered around it would seemed like a good choice. It was. The duck was perfectly cooked and the mix of vegetables that complimented it added to the flavour experience. The delightful blue eye cod was also flavoursome cooked to perfection, and the spiced grains and roast pumpkin sides that accompanied our mains were actually large enough, and tasty enough, to be actual main dishes themselves.

If you like desserts, Drake is your place. The white chocolate and honeycomb parfait with salted caramel is the sweetest, most decadent dessert I have ever had. Highly recommended. If you have a sweet tooth, this is your Everest. The vanilla cheesecake is not very cheesecakey but the flourless chocolate cake is very chocolatey.

Overall, Drake works hard to achieve great tasting, familiar food that is not too over the top, but that still respects good produce, skilful cooking and a proper community feel. This Drake may well become one of Bondi’s few old ducks.

Drake Eatery

Address | 178 Campbell Parade, Bondi Beach
Phone | (02) 9130 3218
Website |
Email |
Open | Mon to Sun 7am-11pm
Prices | Entrees $9-18; Mains $29-32; Dessert $12-14
Cards | Visa, American Express, Mastercard and Cash
Licensed | Yes