In Short: Bondi Hall is café perfection with the added benefit of being just a few hundred metres from Australia’s most famous beach. Modern café fare using ingredients and flavours sourced from around the world. Coffee is also a strong suit.
As I sit outside Bondi Hall, I wonder where summer has gone. I remember being in the eastern suburbs merely days ago when not even the sea breeze could quell the 35 degree heat. It’s half that now, as the southerly catches tanned locals in their short dresses and shorts unaware. Even so, the weather doesn’t damper the enthusiasm for great coffee and food that’s served up at Bondi Hall.
The café is by the crew who brought us Reuben Hills and Paramount Coffee Project. The fit-out reminds me a little of Reuben Hills, with its darker interior dominated by untreated naked pine rafters running length-ways. Terrariums are also a feature, and inject the space with colour and a fresh vibe. There’s a nod to Paramount’s long coffee bar, as the Reuben Hills beans are grounded, tamped, and coffee is extracted, and the menu takes inspiration from each of their parent café’s, with hints of Central America and Mediterranean.
Speaking of the menu, how do you make hummus look good? Well, you have the Bondi Hall chefs cook you up the dish of course! The hummus bowl with braised eggplant, pickled beans, turnip, radish, epasote and cinnamon lamb is a refined-looking offering. The smoky flavours of hummus are prominent, and with the delicately spiced lamb is heavenly decadent. I really enjoyed the injection of citrus from the scorched lemon and the freshness of the radish and turnip. Break apart the egg, and it just tops off a truly delicious offering. It’s an original dish with depth of flavour that’s complex and thoroughly enjoyable.
Fried eggs are elevated up a notch with chimichurri and Cecina with seeded toast. If you are familiar with jamon, you will love cecina. It’s a darker and richer cured meat, with the thin slices marrying well with perfectly fried, still gooey, yolk of the egg. Chimichurri is herbaceous and zesty, and slices through the richness of the cecina and egg. Finally, the seeded toast, with it’s crusty edges and soft centre, is perfect to mop up the remaining egg and chimichurri.
When our coffee arrives, I am instantly transported to another of Reuben Hill’s off shoots, Hills Bros. Their Magnolia Mountain coffee cups are memorable, and make an appearance here too at Bondi Hall.
Like Hills Bros, coffee is a strong suit. Rich, nutty flavours mixed with the sweetness of berries are hallmark of the Reuben Hills blend, and the milk is silky and creamy. It’s the type of coffee that beckons another one to soak the palate.
Our adventure to Bondi Beach was indeed worth the effort, as Bondi Hall exceeded our expectations. It’s location, just a few hundred metres back from the beach, is perfect, even with Bondi Beach parking being a lottery at the best of times! Head in early to take in and treat yourself to a globe-trotting feast of flavours, and drink exceedingly good coffee at Bondi Hall.