Wednesday, 23 July 2008

North Bondi Italian Food

In the early noughties, G + I spent a far too brief five weeks eating our way around Italy. We Australians pride ourselves on our access to fresh produce and the Mediterranean influenced food resulting from the influx of immigrants in the 50s for the Snowy River Dam project. Eating in Italy brought us a different flavor of Italian food that we are only now starting to see appear in Sydney restaurants. North Bondi Italian Food is one of those very places, right here in Sydney.

Binky suggested this as the perfect place to fuel up before walking the Bondi to Clovelly seaside walk. If carbs were what we needed then she was certainly right.

Between the four of us we tried a good portion of the menu, including:
  • warm mortadella ($16);
  • mixed olives with sage and chilli ($9);
  • zucchini, asparagus, peas, beans, mint, waxy potatoes and air dried ricotta ($17);
  • pappardelle, pork, veal ragu 'Marchiagiano' style ($27);
  • spaghetti arrabbiata, crab, cooked in a paper bag ($28); <-- my very good choice
  • la tagliata, chargrilled hereford/angus ribeye, rocket, green peppercorns, chilli, spring onions ($29);
  • a delicious mussels dish that I simply can't find on the menu; and
  • a dessert of 'Dolce della nonna' chocolate gelato, masala(~$14).
The dessert and vegetable dish were average but the rest of the food was delicious. The pasta servings are huge and I can't recommend the spaghetti arrabbiata highly enough. You could easily share that and the endless supplies of bread among a couple for lunch and you'd not be left hungry. Bottles of olive oil on the table are a nice touch and solve that annoying habit the bowl of oil has of running out when there is an excess of bread around. No more waiting for the waiter to refill them.

The view out the window of North Bondi Beach is uninterrupted, which makes you feel pampered and special as you sit there eating and people watching. Be warned, the place gets busy early. We arrived 20 mins before it opened and were 10th in line. With the popularity and the hard surfaces, you get the typical deafening venue that is authentically Italian (at least in this country). They could use more staff too but as a full package, this is the best Italian in Sydney and I'll stand by that recommendation.


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