Co-owners James Meek and Cliff Baskin are the operators behind the successful Bennett Street Dairy in Bondi, which they opened three years ago.
Their new spot isn’t even two kilometres away, and the proximity is deliberate.
“We’re all about locals and the local area,” says Meeks. “We want the two places to feed off each other but not compete.”
Although it has a slightly larger space, Blair Street Dairy is like a younger sibling to Bennett Street – you can tell the kids were raised by the same parents, but they each do things their own way.
For breakfast there are crisp, light corn fritters served on tangy tahini yoghurt with fresh avocado and a tomato-basil salad, plus a pile of sweet caramelised onions that act as a foil to the savoury fritters.
Blair Street Dairy’s take on the ubiquitous “bowl” is poached egg, avocado, carrot, quinoa and toasted macadamia nuts served on a bed of kale. The accompanying sourdough is made with butterfly pea flowers, which turns the bread purple. The colour is at once pretty and slightly off-putting, but it is tasty.
Each dish is generous in size. “We want to be a place people remember when they’re hungry, and know they’ll be well fed.” Bennett Street’s best, most substantial feed is the buttermilk-chicken burger (Baskin’s grandma’s recipe) and they’re serving it at Blair Street too. All of the pastries are made in-house.
In Meek’s native New Zealand, a “dairy” is a corner shop. “It’s your local corner store, and when you’re a kid the dairy is the highlight of any suburb,” he says. “We’re trying to capture that nostalgia.”
Blair Street Dairy does a good job of emulating the simplicity of the past. The venue, located at Bondi’s “seven ways” in a commanding position, is mostly white with big picture windows and wide doors on every outer wall to let in the natural light. The coffee machine takes pride of place at the front and although it’s bigger than Bennett Street’s, it’s intimate enough that you can look up from your book and call out your order to the barista without having to budge from the table. We like that.
Blair Street Dairy
27 Blair Street, Bondi
(02) 8592 4415