There are lots of things to miss about Sydney. But nights like this are chief among them.

Taken at South Bondi at 7 pm on a school night

Bondi Beach is a strange beast. One of the famous stretches of sand in the world can boast the best of times, but if you navigate the strip badly, it can be the pits.

Some of the food by the shore is downright average. The places that are good, fill up quickly.  Some of the locals can be wretched posers. And parking is an expensive nightmare. But beyond all that; a swim, and a take away burger from Huricanes eaten on the grass is one way to ensure a solid night. And now here’s another, a smidge more civilised.

Bondi Hardware

Hall Street is one of the more heaving thoroughfares of Bondi, bisecting the suburb and leading everyone out of their salt-sticky flats and towards the beach. Once upon a time a fixture of the stretch was the hardware store. It was quirky,  chaotic and cramped. It was where you’d go for a plunger when you couldn’t be bothered leaving the suburb.  Now that space has been transformed into an establishment which ticks all of the boxes for a great beach side bite.

spiced lamb salad

The interior is calculatedly rustic, with exposed wooden beams, greenery and skylights which let in a good dose of Vitamin D.

The crowd is largely young and beautiful, but with less attitude than some other local watering holes (Ping, North Bondi Italian)

The bar is the focal point, and the drinks list is strong; from quirky local ales, wines by the glass (served in proper glasses no less) – and a cavalcade of cocktails- including some elderflower ice pops which sound dangerously good.

We arrive at 5pm, right smack in the middle of peak holiday season. There are bar nibbles of chips and aioli and marinated olives to tide us over until the kitchen opens at 6pm.

The menu aims towards global shared plates; from pizzas to sassy little sliders (my pick of the evening).

Salads come in varying sizes depending on how hungry you are/ how skimpy your swimmers are, the floor staff are busy yet sweet – but here’s one of the the best thing; if you don’t want to take a chance on snaring a plum table – you can book ahead.

39 Hall Street
Bondi Beach NSW 2026
61 2 9365 7176

Bondi Hardware on Urbanspoon

Gelato from Pompei’s

It’s not a proper trip to Bondi without a gelato from Pompei’s. Sure it’s not cheap, but one scoop is all you need. Get it in a cup and nurse it while you wander down to the sand.

This is  the hazelnut gelato of your dreams, with a slow melting point and a flavour that sings.  The Hungry One raves about the dark chocolate gelato and the passionfruit sorbet, but to me, it’s all about the nuts. In my book, this is the hazelnut gelato against which all others are judged.

 126-130 Roscoe Street (corner Gould Street)
(closed Monday)
Bondi Beach NSW 2026.