Alex: Deciding where to have a late lunch in Bondi can be a tricky one, it’s busy, winter near the beach can be uncomfortable for some and the main thing – most of the cafes close their kitchens around 3 or 4 (ahem Porch and Parlour) leaving one particular food blogger disappointed, alas, I’ll see you next time. Walking around cold and famished led us to a corner restaurant in North Bondi which is actually run by the same team that created Porch and Parlour called The Hill Eatery. It was like they were trying to make it up to me!
A beautifully displayed and rustic restaurant appeared to be the perfect place for my long overdue catch up with my good friend Veronica. The menu was diverse with a lot of interesting options, but whenever I’m at the point to say I’m famished, basically means that it’s burger time. So we both put in our order for the Beef Burger w. swiss cheese, pickles, onion jam and The Hill made dijonnaise and duck fat potatoes. $18. Sounds good doesn’t it!?
Well I wouldn’t know…….because 15 minutes after placing our order our waitress came back out to let us know that they had run out of the beef patties. I was heartbroken so we quickly had to pick something else. I chose the Minute Steak with greens, chips and café de paris butter $19.50 and Veronica opted for the Roast Chicken Sandwich with pesto, tomato and mozzarella $16.50
I was a little disappointed with the lacklustre service throughout the whole time at The Hill. The staff were friendly but didn’t seem to pay much attention to what was going on around them. Two different people came to take our order after we had already done so and I also had to ask twice for tap water.
After sitting outside for about 15-20 minutes we decided the chill was too much to handle so we moved inside, while it seemed like a good idea at the time to beat the cold, I was then faced with the sun beaming in my eyes for a good 40 minutes. It’s not their fault, they can’t control the sun but perhaps some blinds might be a nice addition to the Hill Restaurant because having to wear my sunglasses inside the whole time made me feel slightly moronic.
Myself and Veronica, after moving inside had to wait another 30 minutes for our meals, despite that our food finally arrived and our eyes lit up!
Veronica’s Roast Chicken was delicious! The chicken was soft and succulent and pleasantly broke apart from each other and with that added addition of pesto created a wonderful texture that made you go back for more. I think if the mozzarella had melted over the chicken a bit more so it was hot and stringy would have the made the sandwich a little more fun and created some added texture but that’s just my personal preference, the dish was by far the stand out, and I would go back just to have it again.
I was a little surprised by what was put in front of me. While I whole-heartedly accept the idea of home style cooking, I do expect some finesse when I’m spending $20 especially on a minute steak. The dish itself was satisfying. The meat was cooked superbly, perhaps a little too much fat left for my liking, but it was nice. The chips were crunchy but lacked seasoning, so I found myself reaching for the salt a few times. The greens were also a bit of a miss until I mixed it with some of the café de paris butter. Now that was good. It went with everything on the plate and helped to bring all the flavours together.
While there are definitely some kinks that need to be addressed at the Bondi Restaurant, there is a lot of potential evident in the menu, the location and the design. Perhaps another visit is needed
Until next time