This summer, Bondi belongs to the squish burger. We're betting it's going to be the breakout dish on the menu at Bondi Beach Public Bar, the new eatery and drinkery that Maurice Terzini and Monty Koludrovic of Icebergs fame are opening on December 20.
Koludrovic describes the venue's food as "Italo-Aussie" and though there are echoes of The Dolphin Hotel, the pair's other pub, Bondi Beach Public Bar will dance to a different, even more casual tune. The stripped-back venue takes classic pub style as its inspiration, and the food will be an order-at-the-counter affair - just the ticket for anyone fresh from the sand.
The fried chicken
There's an homage to Belles Hot Chicken on the menu: here it's called Bella's, is on the milder end of the Nashville heat scale and comes with dill pickles, an aïoli spiked with chilli, and creamy parmesan and barbecue sauces.
There's no shortage of cheesy things. The "carbonara pizza" is topped liberally with mozzarella, parmesan and egg, while elsewhere an egg tops the chicken cotoletta, styled on a Holstein schnitzel with anchovies, capers and parsley.
If you're after something lighter, look no further than the antipasti plate, a spread of pickled vegetables and squares of focaccia alongside cured meats and Holy Goat La Luna. For something a little more substantial, there's the salt-roasted beetroot and burrata sprinkled with buckwheat.
And then there's the squish burger. It's a double-patty bacon cheeseburger, the squish-factor coming from its buns being flattened under the weight of a fish press. "It's important to squish with no heat so the bun stays soft and the filling doesn't steam too much," says Koludrovic. "It's a pretty quick process." The kitchen can keep both burger purists and the regular punter happy, plating salad fillings separately so diners can accessorise as they please.
James Hird, wine guy across Terzini's venues, plans to raise the bar of your typical pub wine list, with a Cantina Giardino rosé bottled especially for BBPB and an orange wine from Latta Vino sprinkled among the more entry-level drops. "For me drinkability is key," he says. "When people order a second glass you know you're in the right zone."
The "carbonara pizza"
Mixed drinks include batched classics such as Americanos and Negronis, as well as Terzini favourites such as the Delfino Spritz and a healthy dose of retro in the form of Harvey Wallbangers and White Russians.
Looks like the beach has some serious competition this summer.
Bondi Beach Public Bar, 203/180 Campbell Pde, Bondi Beach, NSW, (02) 9132 5777, bbpb.com.au