Continuing my exploration of NSW Clubs, I visited North Bondi RSL who unveiled their updated venue last July.
Their major refit opens the space up with rounded wave-like curves, and coastally appropriate neutral tones that keep your eyes focused upon the all-important view.
And the view is epic - even on a drizzly, grey afternoon.
With the Club situated at the northern end of the famous wide strip of golden sand that is Bondi Beach, you get a panoramic landscape that also takes in the southern headland, the glittering lights of the Bondi promenade, all the way around to the grassy slopes of North Bondi.
We make our way onto the balcony and a table miraculously opens up. The crowd seems resolutely old-school Bondi. The trendy folk are busy populating the hip small bars and fancy restaurants, while we’re sitting here drinking Petaluma White Label Chardonnay ($9.90/glass) lapping up a multi-million dollar view.
“This is great value,” a bemused French tourist exclaims on the next table, while looking out at the crazy good view. He's referring to the $19.50 burger and beverage special that’s on every Thursday night. The bistro is dishing up classic coastal counter cuisine – seafood platters, steaks, schnitzels, and salads your grandmother would understand.
We start with White Anchovies ($14.50) on toasted Turkish bread smeared with hummus and topped with rocket. It’s simple and eats in harmony with the coastal view.
Spanish Style Prawns ($15) come in a little cast iron pot, accompanied by garlic bread and salad. They’re a bit tomato heavy, but eat all right with a jammy McLaren Vale Willunga 100 Grenache ($9/glass) in your other hand.
With orders placed at the counter and a buzzer system in place, if you want to eat a multi-course meal, you’re best to order your entrée and main separately so both courses don’t arrive together. We hit up the 350g Ribeye Steak ($30) with fat-cut chips and salad. It’s a well-cooked (medium-rare) piece of pasture-fed beef, and goes well with the optional Pepper Sauce ($2). My only niggle – it would have been better if the saucy steak hadn’t been placed on top of the chips.
It felt pleasantly perverse to order and consume a classic Chicken Schnitzel & Gravy ($19.50) in front of this view. My first ever schnitty by the sea was plump and juicy, with green peas, buttery mash and reasonable gravy, all well executed and in correct proportions.
One couldn’t help but spare a thought for the folk at Icebergs Dining Room eating their forty-six dollar (plus) mains, looking back at us, with the reciprocal view. (Members can expect to scrape off up to four bucks a dish from the prices I’m quoting here, too.)
North Bondi RSL
118-120 Ramsgate Avenue, North Bondi
Ph: (02) 9130 3152