If you ever owned a Farting Dog T-shirt or a poster of cartoon Jesus at the footy, then get down to Bondi next week for a serious hit of ’90s nostalgia. Iconic surf wear label Mambo has teamed up with the chefs from Pinbone to create the Mambo Tuckshop, a pop-up eatery open for just four days from January 25–28, serving up schoolyard favourites right across from the beach.
“We’re really working at getting back to the roots of Mambo and the way that Mambo was deeply connected to Australian culture,” says marketing manager Amy Low.
Founded in 1984 by Dare Jennings, the Mambo label offered an edgy and irreverent take on Australia, with artists such as Reg Mombassa creating the brand’s signature surreal landscapes. Jennings sold the company in 2000 and, not long after, Mambo began to slip from the public consciousness. But partnerships with Splendour in the Grass in 2016 and 2017, as well as some new art, music and fashion collaborations, are bringing it back in a big way.
Food was the next obvious step. “With so much creativity coming from the Sydney food scene, opening a food pop-up is a natural progression for the brand,” says Low. “The Mambo Tuckshop is an absolute dream – fun food by our favourite chefs served up at Bondi Beach at the height of summer.” The team worked hard to create a balance between capturing the million dollar beach views and designing a completely Mambo-ified space with in-house artists and designers.
Then there’s the eats. “Mambo is a crazy and wild brand so there were really no limits on the food and we just went for it,” says chef Mike Eggert of Pinbone. “We wanted to grab all the fun and weird greatness of the old-school canteen tuckshop.”
It starts from the time you order – write what you want on the back of a brown paper bag and hand it over the counter.
On the menu you’ll find things like a beef and ‘Mambo-mite’ pie, devon sandwiches and chocolate milk. Eggert has long been an advocate for using native ingredients, so it made sense for him to reimagine some of the tuckshop staples with a native twist. Order a warrigal greens and ricotta roll, finger lime bun or macadamia and wattleseed vanilla slice.
Expect a step up from canteen quality, though, with places such as LP’s Quality Meats, Paperbird, Purepops, Adora and Wholegreen Bakery supplying the ingredients, as well as Yu-Ching Lee of Paperbird and formerly, among others, Brickfields Bakery and Boon Cafe.
Mambo Tuckshop – A Summer Food Event takes place Thursday January 25 to Sunday January 28 at 266 Campbell Parade, North Bondi, 10am–4pm.