The team behind Potts Point’s Room 10 joined forces with the Fishbowl crew to open this venue serving interesting smoothies, bowls with lots of textures and flavours, and a toast menu that’s not run-of-the-mill, Side Room.
In Bondi’s Pacific complex – alongside Bondi Beach Public Bar, Panama House and beside Fishbowl (hence the name) – the venue is more of a place you grab something to go rather than while away a couple hours; although there are a handful of tables to drink the robust coffee (the cafe uses beans from Mecca) or eat one of the bowls, which are expertly thought through and packed with flavour.
The beef brisket is a standout. Made in house, the meat is slow-cooked for eight hours using a master stock, then sliced and served with caramelised onion, kimchi slaw and pickled cucumber. The brisket is also available in a sandwich, with the addition of a sharp cheddar, red onion and rocket served within two slices of Brickfields bread. They’re decent two-hander sandwiches, too.
Co-owners Nic Pestalozzi Nathan Dalah and Casper Ettelson are from the Fishbowl side of the operation. While husband and wife Andrew Hardjasudarma and Yuvi Thu are the Room 10 side. Thu is head chef there and has worked in some of the city’s best kitchens (ACME, Mr Wong and Bistro Moncur) and is assisted by Victoria Scriven (Ester). They make many of the ingredients in house, such as cashew “cheese” (which is vegan) and pickles, and their toast menu is something you would wake up early for.
The Ziad toast is made with spiced chickpea spread, roast capsicum, dukkah and fresh herbs, while the Bingo II is an extravagance of peanut butter, banana, cinnamon, walnut and honey.
Match these with a smoothie, which incorporate Australian natives such as quandong, strawberry gum, Davidson plum and lemon myrtle, and mixed with nut butters, almond milk and fruit.
The Blueprint, for example, is a jumble of lychee, coconut “meat”, banana, macadamia butter, coconut milk, river milk and the ingredient that makes it a surprising colour: blue algae.
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