Monday, February 27, 2012

Saturday lunch at North Bondi Italian

We were again looking at rental properties when a car park became available right outside the North Bondi Italian, we just had to take it as a sign we were supposed to have lunch here.  It's usually impossible to park here.

Been here several times before.  Great view of Bondi beach on a busy and hot sunny Saturday - one of few in Sydney this summer.  Quick and efficient service.  Good food.

The simple name really says it all - Italian fare served above an iconic stretch of coast. North Bondi Italian Food doesn't try to be anything more than that, but with Maurice Terzini as one of the owners and the uber-sophisticated Icebergs Dining Room as its sibling, this eatery can't help but be good.    The space is filled with bright yellow chairs and simple unclothed tables - the menu is the placemat, while enormous pleated lampshades hang above diners like '50s rock 'n' roll skirts. Features such as recessed trays built into tables to store the cutlery reinforce the family-friendly, beachy attitude.   Chef Robert Marchetti's menu is similarly simple and laidback.
 We ordered the Whitebait blackboard special to start - beautifully cooked, plump and moist with a lovely Aioli;
Followed by "Not a Carpaccio -Bruschetta" (Cubes of Raw Bonito, Yellow-fin Tuna, Char-grilled Sour Dough, Marjoram, Chilli).  Fresh and tasty, although I did find the sourdough very difficult to eat because of the extra crisp crust.
I ordered New Season "REAL' NT Wild Barramundi Fillet with a Fine Salad of Lime, Fennel, Cabbage, Mint and a Hint of Chilli.  I'm not a fan of Barramundi, but seeing as how it was 'real'....  It was beautifully cooked with crunchy skin and the salad was a standout.  Good choice.
Hal ordered the "80's Classic" Baked Milk Fed Veal Scaloppine, Smoked Ham, Mushroom Duxelle, Fontina Cheese.  Rich but delicious, although he believes they forgot the cheese as he saw someone else with the same dish and it appeared that the cheese was on top.
Of course we had to add the Crispy Potatoes, Garlic, Rosemary.  Bit too crunchy for me.
Lovely location, good service, good food, not too expensive.  Recommended.

Impromptu Lunch at Toko Restaurant

Popped into Toko Restaurant - 490 Crown Street, Surry Hills whilst searching for a rental property in the area.  I would love to live around here.  Been meaning to try this restaurant for so long.  There is another in Oxford Street Paddington.  Deserves a try too.  NZ Chef and Gordon Ramsay trained - Head Chef Regan Porteous serves modern Japanese.
We were in a hurry, so ordered several small dishes, starting with San Ten (Chef's Selection of Sashimi - 3 variations - 9 pieces) - served on shaved ice, with a large piece of ice looking like a sculpture.  Tuna, Salmon and Redfish.  Soo fresh and beautifully presented.
We also ordered Gyu Niku Gyoza (Wagyu Beef Gyoza, White-Soy Mustard, Shiso).  Really delicious.  Then Ebi Tempura (Crispy Prawn Tempura, Dashi Broth) and Shoga to Shoyu de Tsuketa Amiyaki Dori ( Spicy Soy-Ginger Chicken Leg) - lovely flavour, moist and moorish.

Bit slack on the photos - too hungry and too out of practice!

But highly recommended.  We will return.