Arriving in Australia from Canada with next to nothing, chef Eli Challenger stumbled upon a job in Bondi, met a girl called Ruby and away they went on a North American BBQ tour, which was also their honeymoon. Upon their return, the duo met Pearce at Bondi eatery and bar, Fat Rupert’s. And that’s how authentic, North-American BBQ came to this grassy patch on Bondi Road.
Challenger’s devotion to his craft comes from a childhood of long summer days in Vancouver spent with a Polish stepfather passionate about smoking meats.
“It just takes meat, wood and time,” says Challenger with a shrug, about the art of slow smoking. There is, of course, a little more to it. Smoking can take anywhere from 10–20 hours, depending on the cut, and seasoning is a whole other game. “It’s really in the nuances,” Challenger admits. “The spices and the secrets are special to each chef. You just have to keep perfecting it.”
The menu is made up of a few basics: three signature burgers, a new take on a much-loved fried chicken recipe (in a bucket with waffles and hickory ice-cream), plus plenty of smoked-meat goodness. The team is adamant about seasonal, local produce so daily specials will include fresh salads and an array of deliciously experimental cheesecakes.
Breakfasts will bring to light a few gone and forgotten takes on the humble egg. Coffee is brought to you by another Bondi local, Will & Co.
The IconPark mission was always to remove barriers and allow passionate, innovative teams the chance to create what they want. It’s a philosophy that fits with the Rupert and Ruby mission to pair with local, passionate, like-minded individuals.
Rupert & Ruby
78 Stanley Street, Darlinghurst