Bondy’s is an oasis of indulgence, exuberance and ‘80s glamour. As Downey explains, “The ‘80s was just so big! Huge hits, massive hair, giant shoulder pads and bright-blue cocktails. It was rich and we couldn’t get enough, so what better namesake icon in Australia than Alan Bond to represent it?”
Arriving via elevator, patrons are transported to a space that evokes flashbacks to A Night at the Roxbury. The bar, dance floor and patrons lounging in velveteen booths are doused in glowing fluorescent pink and turquoise light. “It’s Ken Done meets Memphis at a party at George Michael’s penthouse,” says Downey.
The food menu pays homage to a decade that hasn’t been fondly remembered for its culinary excellence. “Why did devils on horseback ever disappear from the menus of the world? Real men do eat quiche, and prawns are only there to spoon cocktail sauce in your mouth,” says Downey. Devils on Horseback indeed share the spotlight with classic quiche Lorraine and prawn cocktails. More substantial is the Bondy’s cheeseburger, and more financially substantial are the $125 blinis with caviar, crème fraiche and parsley salad. While not necessarily a groundbreaking dining offering, the food props up the priority here. And that’s drinking.
The drinks list is true to the ‘80s theme, obviously, and includes favourites such as the Alabama Slammer and Singapore Sling as well as modern concoctions such as the Pat Cash with Hendricks gin, cucumber, apricot, citrus and bitters, and the Gordon Gekko; Cognac and pineapple juice infused with fresh mint and ginger. “Think Tom Cruise jumping on the bar, spitting out a poem as the last barman poet. The movie is Cocktail. Watch it today and come live it tonight!” says Downey.
Between Duran Duran and shots of Malibu, if the hard liquor becomes too much, there’s always Foster’s on tap. Unsurprisingly, Bondy’s is the only venue in Australia to offer such an extravagance.
Level 1, 16 Phillip Lane, Sydney
(02) 9251 2347
Wed, Thu & Sat 5pm–late