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The Nine: A Clean, Neat, Bright Seaside Escape

By Madeleine Gray on May 13, 2016 in Food

Photo: Grant Brooks

Photo: Grant Brooks

My first impression upon meeting Julie Brument, one half of the duo behind Bondi’s coolest new eatery and bar, The Nine, is that she is young and poised. Once she introduces herself, I form a second impression: Julie is French.

These two impressions basically encapsulate the vibe of The Nine. From the crisp lines of the wait staff’s blue and white t-shirts, to the minimalist light fixtures and white walls, the message is clear: this is, as Kath and Kim might say, classy. When I comment to Julie that I like the beachy colour palette, she replies: “Oh, yes. But it’s a clean, neat, bright seaside.”

Julie is twenty-seven. She is originally from a small seaside town near Marseilles, called Carry le Rouet (known, she tells us, for being the resting place of Nina Simone). After studying business and wine in France, Julie moved to China and started a business importing French wine and organic spirits. This is where she met her partner, Sebastien Dallee, a Clovelly ex-pat who was working as a restaurant manager in China having studied hospitality at Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne in Switzerland. In July last year, the couple returned to Sydney to open The Nine. And so it began.

The menu, designed in collaboration with head chef David Walker (ex-Danks St Depot and Pablo & Rusty’s), is big on local, sustainable produce, and is inspired by the cuisines of nine different countries: Greece, France, Italy, Spain, Croatia, Morocco, Egypt, Israel and Turkey.

The Israeli couscous salad with slow-cooked lamb, organic halloumi, spiced lentils, radish, orange, pecan, red kale and cumin would not be out of place on a banquet table in a palace: it is ornate, and absolutely beautiful to look at. As Julie confirms, they “do not have a flat dish”. Presentation is paramount. The lamb is tender, and my fork easily scoops up delectable bites without the intervention of a knife. I usually don’t enjoy orange in salads, but here it acts flawlessly as a citrusy complement to the richness of the meat, couscous and halloumi.

The shakshouka with baked eggs, quinoa, spicy roast tomato (cooked twice with caramelised onions and whole bunches of herbs), zatar and (optional) chorizo, is creamy and delicious. It also manages to avoid the layer of uncooked, clear gelatinousness that is the downfall of many a baked egg.

The coffee is pitch prefect. The roast is by Five Senses, a Perth based company, and the coffee machine is set each morning so that it automatically pours the same quality shot every time. I got two flat whites, and I couldn’t fault either.

The space is licensed, and Julie and Sebastien plan on keeping it open as a wine bar at nighttime in the near future. At present, they host a pop-up bar every three weeks, with such achingly hip concoctions as a quinoa vodka and kombucha cocktail. Bloody Marys and Aperol Spritzes are, thank goodness, on offer all day.

So what are you waiting for? Head down to The Nine, maintenant!

Address: 163 Glenayr Avenue, Bondi
Instagram: @theninesydney
Opening Hours: Mon to Sun 7am–4pm (Nights TBC)
Prices: $15 – $25
Card Accepted: Yes
Licensed/BYO: Yes/No