If you’re worried about the recent number of restaurant closures in Potts Point (Paper Bird, Billy Kwong, The Fish Shop) then this may allay your concerns. The neighbourhood has welcomed La Bomba, which is serving seriously good Spanish from sunrise to sunset.
It’s opened in the spot where local institution La Buvette sat for 25 years until it closed in July. Husband and wife duo Nick Stone (Mona, the now-closed Hugos, Harpoon Harry) and Aparna Gehlot took over La Buvette for a few weeks while planning for La Bomba, their first restaurant as owner-operators.
“Originally I didn’t like the idea of trading under the previous restaurant because I didn’t want to live in their shadow,” co-owner and head chef Nick Stone tells Broadsheet. “But it ended up being a blessing in disguise. We used it as a chance to talk to the community and find out what they really wanted from us.”
Stone has spent two decades in many different kitchens, and has never been more ready to open his own restaurant. And with experience across a catalogue of cuisines, inspiration for La Bomba’s menu hasn’t been restricted to recipes. Back in the day, Stone worked at Alira on Jones Bay Wharf alongside hospitality maestro Mikee Collins (Bedouin, Christopher Hannah), who helped the couple open the restaurant.
The space received a full-blown refresh by the interior design guns at Guru (Arthur, Went to See the Gypsy, Sunset Diner, Regiment), which tiled the walls in terracotta and wrapped the counters in light timber. It launched as Spanish-leaning La Bomba a couple of Fridays ago.
Spanish is Stone’s sweet spot. “Sweet, sour, savoury – that’s my palate,” Stone explains.
At La Bomba that means sobrassada (cured Spanish sausage) with fried eggs, mojo verde and manchego cheese on toast, or sweet papaya and coconut yoghurt on a maple crunch with lemon balm and raw honey. For lunch, choose from heirloom tomatoes with burrata, sherry caramel and basil on garlic toast, or traditional bocadillo (Spanish sandwiches) stuffed with steak, sherry-braised onion, greens, cheese and mojo verde. The namesake bomba (short-grain) rice comes with roasted king prawns, saffron and fennel, and goes perfectly with a carafe of sangria, or one of the many craft beers or Spanish wines on the menu.
And if you find yourself there between meals, don’t worry. Fill up on snacks such as Sydney rock oysters, patatas bravas, raw fish tostadas and La Boqueria Spanish cured meats.
“You can literally sit here from 7am until 10pm if you want,” says Gehlot. “We’ve already got a few regulars who come up to three times a day.”