Avila Crêpes has opened in Bondi in a tiny but comfortable space. And for a Sydney first, it’s matching crêpes with cocktails.
“It’s a tiny place, says owner Alejandro Jara. “We can have no more than 19 people inside at a time, so we keep it simple.”
Jara founded the hospitality company Black and White Waiters four years ago, and it has since become one of the largest staffing services in Sydney. Opening Avila, however, still took a leap of faith.
“Everyone has a good memory of crêpes in Paris,” he says. “I thought there must be a place in Bondi for something like this.”
Jara enlisted the help of executive chef Raphael Matet (French Fare Catering) to design the menu, and Camile Dubois, a traditional crêpiere from France, to execute it. Galettes (savoury, gluten-free buckwheat crêpes) are topped with fresh buffalo mozzarella, home-grown organic tomatoes and baby basil, or Tasmanian ocean trout with capers, lemon, spinach and béchamel. Sweet crêpes include salted caramel and chestnut, made with house-made French salted butter, fresh cream and organic sugar.
Mixologist Istvan Orosz’s drinks menu includes cold-pressed juices such as carrot, beetroot, blood orange, ginger and turmeric. At night, try cocktails such as a Cold Driptini, with single-origin coffee, Toissant Liqueur De Café and vanilla-infused Flor De Cana rum topped with cacao and orange dust.
Originally an aquarium, Avila was designed by renowned architect Michael Benson (Porch & Parlour, The Hill Eatery). “It was old and tired. I wanted it to look and feel French, but it still needed to feel familiar, like it belonged in Bondi,” Jara says.
Hand-painted gold-leaf lettering adorns the front windows, while teal and white tiled floors and white marble bar tops hint at a Mediterranean influence. Distressed mirrors line the southern wall, opening up the cosy space, and whitewashed wooden walls bring diners back to Bondi.