Topikós

From the makers of Shell House and The Dolphin comes Topikós, a slick Greek bar and restaurant occupying the corner where Bondi Beach Public Bar used to be.

Interior stylist Anna Hewitt has harnessed light blue hues, custom-made ceramic light fixtures and rattan chairs to set the scene. Adding a bit of edge to the aesthetic is a fun blue and yellow, Picasso-esque mural by Kiama artist Mikey Freedom (artist-in-residence at Shell House), as well as a marble mosaic chef’s bench installed opposite the roughly rendered banquet seating that runs the length of the 80-seat dining room. The exterior, decaled with the Greek key pattern, is striking on approach.

While it might be a casual diner, the food menu is a standout. The group’s formidable culinary director Joel Bickford (ex-Aria has worked with group executive chef Danny Corbett and head chef Charles Woodward (ex-Pilu at Freshwater) to develop dishes that pull inspiration from the Greek islands.

Diners can take a seat in the main dining room or pull up in the lively 100-person bar. Menus vary slightly, but both offer meze favourites such as saganaki dressed with honey and black pepper; taramasalata (order house-made puffy pita bread to swipe through the pink roe dip); sardines on toast with tomato; octopus skewers with a honey-vinegar glaze; and fried whitebait. Bar patrons can also enjoy split prawns draped in chilli-garlic butter and feta, and kingfish collars fried in oregano and served with lemon mayo.

Meanwhile, those in the dining room are treated to heartier dishes such as slow-cooked lamb shoulder with pomegranate glaze and tirokafteri (feta dip), and butterflied whole snapper with a sweet pepper-smoked olive oil, served in a fried vine leaf.

The wine list, put together by sommelier and group food and beverage director Alex Kirkwood (ex-Aria), is centred around a good mix of drops from Greece, Italy, France and Australia. Plus, Josh Reynolds (The Dolphin, Shell House, ex-Scout) has come up with an all-day cocktail list that includes a spicy watermelon Margarita and a spiked Greek iced coffee with shavings of nutmeg and a dollop of fresh cream, ideal for enjoying while people-watching from the promenade seating.

Updated: May 4th, 2022

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