Although it’s only a few minutes up Campbell Parade, North Bondi is a different world from its southern neighbour. It’s a difference Comida owners Dave Owen and Gaudi Diaz were counting on when they moved Paradise Road Diner south and opened Comida in its place.
“You walk in here and it feels more chilled, less touristy,” says Diaz. “People in North Bondi are into looking after themselves, eating good produce and good food.”
In Spanish, comida means “food”. The simplicity of the name reflects the menu, which is a broad mix of Mediterranean cuisines with the occasional North African influence. “For me Mediterranean food is the best food in the world. It’s clean, it’s simple,” says Owen.
Comida’s snack menu rotates regularly. Escabeche on toast is made with mackerel, which by reputation is a “fishy” fish. The strong flavour is balanced with tiny curls of orange zest, sliced basil leaves and goat’s cheese served on grilled sourdough.
There’s a handful of pasta dishes. The Short Pasta is vegetarian – long narrow tubes are dressed in a 17-ingredient salsa verde with a delicate chilli bite. A mound of stracciatella is heaped in the centre, waiting to be stirred through.
For mains, go with the whole baby red snapper grilled over hot coals. The fish is simple, finished with herbs, olive oil and served with a tangy zucchini and baby squash salad.
The short wine list represents producers in Australia, Italy and Spain. Owen has tried to choose Australian winemakers that have a European touch. From WA vineyard Marq, there’s vermentino, an Italian grape variety. The cocktail list is inspired by Diaz’s Spanish roots. The Southern Spanish is made with gin, sherry and house made lemonade. The Dirty Espanola is Diaz’s take on a dirty martini; instead of olive juice, it’s finished with caper juice.
Between the flamingos sitting on bar shelves amid bottles, pale pink walls with black and white tiles, outdoor tables and plenty of greenery, Comida’s decor combines an easy Bondi style with a Mediterranean aesthetic.
There’s also a counter in front of the kitchen where you can have a beer and chat with Owen and his crew as they fire up dinner.
296 Campbell Parade, North Bondi
(02) 9300 6161