Earlier this month I headed to the newly done up, brightly coloured courtyard (dubbed The Backyard) at the Beach Road Hotel, to attend the first of the Beached As Sunday Sessions.
With the weather a little less than sterling, I positioned myself in a wind-free nook...
...that just happened to be where they were styling the three snacks designed by Gastro Park's Grant King.
And, as it turned out, Grant himself was there providing technical advice, so I got to have a yarn about why he chose to create this menu matched to Rochdale Cider (they're both Kiwis as it turned out). The cider is brewed in Nelson (on the south island) by McCashin's Brewery.
Now each of the three menu items comes with a Rochdale Cider for $12.50, and they're sized so you can try them all during a decent afternoon drinking session. First up is a little Cider Slider featuring cider baked pork jazzed up with crunchy golden crackling and some creamy apple celeriac 'slaw. It's a good match to the Rochdale Cider, which avoids the over-sweetness of many Aussie counterparts.
Moving right along, Crispy Claw is an iceberg lettuce wrapped soft shell crab claw. The crab is cooked in a cider batter, and dressed up with a bright mayo, cucumber and coriander. It's a bit sloppy in the eating, so don't risk putting it down.
The surprise winner is The Rochdale Frostie - yes, a dessert oddly matched to the reasonably dry cider. Think creamy ice cream, caramelised apple and crunchy granny smith apple popping candy - just trust me when I tell you it's a great match to the drink, and perfect eating for a baking hot Sunday afternoon.
You too can beach yourself in The Backyard for any of these tasty treats on any Sunday in December or January. You never know who you'll get to sit down with to chat over a Rochdale Cider...
The Backyard, Beach Road Hotel
71 Beach Road, Bondi Beach
Ph: (02) 9130 7247