The group behind Hinchcliff House has dished up Australia's largest beachside restaurant, with the opening of the impressive Promenade Bondi Beach.
The sprawling 900sqm beachside restaurant has taken up shop in the historic Bondi Pavilion after a multimillion-dollar restoration. There are nods to the past, like a fresco sign of its Turkish bath origins, as well as the present day with the new restaurant's sculptural light fixtures and custom Bondi and lemon embroidered chairs.
While the venue has been divided into distinct spaces – the main dining room with an ocean-facing verandah; two semi-private dining rooms; the 140-seater alfresco lounges on the terrace; and a small coffee kiosk window - there's flow between each space thanks to its relaxed but slick interiors.
The real drawcard, though, is the walk-in-only outdoor bar and terrace that has prime views of one of the world's most iconic beaches. If you were around in The Bucket List days and all its technicolour furniture and Corona buckets glory, imagine that - but grown up.
Dubbed The Front Yard, the alfresco area is dotted with native Australian plants and olive trees, director's chairs, sculptural red parasols and white Mediterranean-inspired furnishings. It's the sort of spot Sydneysiders will flock to in summer, whether in linen suits or bathing suits, to sip a Sunnyboy Spritz and scoff down a fish burger.
"[A] primary focus for us was ensuring Promenade Bondi Beach appealed to locals," says House Made Hospitality director Scott Brown in a statement. "We want it to be somewhere locals are proud of, they feel comfortable eating at regularly and want to show off to visiting friends and family."
And it seems they've nailed the brief.
Moving inside, the dining room is elegant with cream curved leather banquettes, round onyx marble tables, sand-coloured travertine tiles and lush potted fronds.
House Made Hospitality culinary director Stephen Seckold will be joined by executive chef Chris Benedet (ex-Monopole and Rockpool) shortly after opening, with the pair conceiving a bright and breezy coastal menu.
Crumbed trevalla comes served with gribiche and jazzed-up kipfler potato scallops; mud crab comes cooled and picked, served on perilla leaves; while king prawns are doused in bright and aromatic curry leaf butter.
Other dish highlights include sesame bug toast; toothfish skewers with sambal; goat's curd agnolotti with dried tomato, brown butter honey and thyme; lamb neck turnover with mango chutney; agrodolce pork chop with charred radicchio; and sides like charred zucchini with raisins, stracciatella and hazelnut, and potato galette with black garlic and chives. Select menu items will also be available to order in The Front Yard.
As for drinks, Promenade has a drinks list worthy of its beachside location. There are fun cocktails aplenty - including the aforementioned Sunnyboy Spritz, made with strawberry, ginger, Aperol and white wine. The wine list has a strong focus on small producers from Australia's coastal wine regions as well as a few international drops, plus there are tap beers and seltzer tinnies galore.
It's not the first heritage building House Made Hospitality has transformed into a flash new dining destination, with the group opening the multi-level precinct Hinchcliff House that now houses Apollonia, Lana, Grana and Bar Mammoni. It's also responsible for This Way Canteen and Promenade's popular Bondi neighbour, Rancho Seltzo.
If that's anything to go by, Bondi's renewed crown jewel is set to sizzle.