Bondi Beach. Quality produce. Delicious dishes. Generous serves. Decent pricing. Sunny service. Lunch and Dinner.
Newly opened restaurant Drake Eatery gives a thoughtful range of menu options. Dishes start at just $4 for Spiced roasted almonds, or for individual freshly shucked seasonal oysters. Plates of $9 meats and cheeses are a top idea. Smoked bresaola, coppocola or veneto and fennel salami are the three options from meats. 50g portions of cheese come as Maffra Cheddar, Woodside Charleston Jersey brie or Binnorie ashed goats cheese. Just add a glass of wine and it is all systems kick back.
Thankfully there is not a wooden board in site and the Drake Eatery food is presented on a palate of beach and pebble coloured pottery. And while Drake Eatery is a good place for sipping and snacking its generous portions also make it a great place for a long leisurely meal.
Big bowls of sides at just twelve bucks could each be a meal in themselves. One of the sides - Spiced grains, almonds, labne, pomegranate - is one of our favourite dishes. The aroma greeted us before the first bite. The spices and grains are roasted for 40 minutes in the oven by the absorption method, then left alone and not drained, so that all those wonderful flavours are retained in the dish. Other sides are also hearty and great for sharing with the small or large plate options, yet each dish could be a meal in itself. Try Roast pumpkin, streaky bacon and Brussels sprouts. It is quite delicious, warming and filling. And just look at those gorgeous colours. Could there be anything more tempting. It just beckons "Eat Me!".
Small plates offer five options starting with a fluffy light chicken liver parfait in a jar ($16). One tip: smear the heftier fruity rhubarb chutney on one of the big thick grilled Sonoma slices of toast first and top with a blanket of the ethereal parfait. Like all the tasty dishes, the small plates at Drake Eatery are generous as well as welcoming. Little daubs of liquorice underpin the tea smoked ocean trout in another recommended small plate, and the crunch of celeriac and sorrel playfully contrasts. It's a beach perfect dish for anytime of day or night. Pecora blue and golden raisins, hazelnuts and mushrooms, sing with panfried potato gnocchi, a glorious glorious dish. With everything so tempting it really is hard to choose.
It's terrific to see the return of the once damned Iceberg. It is in fact a lovely salad lettuce, and here it is treated most beautifully with a buttermilk dressing, and the addition of Parmesan and radish. Or, there is always room for the addition of Crispy potatoes, thyme salt ($9) with any of the big plates.
Then, of course, with a name like Drake Eatery, you can't go past duck. Here, it is. Roast Thirlmere duck, cipollini onion, carrot, gingerbread ($29) classic yet creative. Again it's a sizeable helping. Again, it is suitable as a stand alone dish or to share. Other main pieces on the current menu are Pan roast Blue Eye Cod (celeriac, walnuts, farro), Chargrilled grass-fed Angus sirloin (beetroot, horseradish, chard), Slow roast Mirrol Creek lamb shoulder (artichoke, sheep's milk curd). Chef knows his stuff!
The corner store has tables for two facing outwards for coffee on both street fronts outside, and once inside big expanses of windows to let the sun into the big square room, beautiful blonde timber table tops and benches around the walls, and three style of timber chairs and bamboo stools at the bar, and an open kitchen to watch Chef Ian Oakes and his team at work.
“I’ve been wanting to open something like this for a number of years and I’m thrilled to be bringing the concept to life locally in my beloved Bondi,” said Chef Ian Oakes. “Drake is a neighbourhood eatery, easy to drop into any time of the day, whether it’s for a snack, drinks or a full meal. Simply put, it’s the sort of place I would like to eat on my days off.”
Sydney born and raised, Ian is best known for his time as Head Chef at The Grand National (Restaurant) in Paddington. Under his watch, the restaurant was awarded a 1 Chef’s Hat rating for four consecutive years. Ian also spent a number of years working in London at Kitchen W8 with ‘stages’ at St Johns, The Ledbury and Claridges.
With everything so tempting, mark Drake Eatery in your calendar for repeat visits. Work your way through the menu, and try the dishes again, and again... I'm there...
|Corner of Curlewis and Gould Street,|
|+61 2 9130 3218|
Mon – Sun midday to late
and opened from 7.30am for coffee