Tucked into the hillside between Kincumber and Avoca Beach, you’ll find a beautiful old plantation house – one of the Central Coast’s oldest homesteads in fact – sitting under a canopy of subtropical foliage.
The terraced two-acre property includes a chook pen, some pigs and a kitchen garden, along with plenty of off-street parking.
The manicured bamboo-lined entranceway leads you past a fish pond on the way to the main house.
However you'll find diners scattered throughout the house and grounds. I'm told on a busy Saturday night in summer that can mean 120 inside and another 120 outside over the course of the evening.
You'll find casual eaters hitting up the Bombini Pizza menu in the large undercover terrace that houses their pizza oven.
Raucous laughter rings out from a family happily ensconced in their own outdoor pagoda for a shared meal; while a big party of young people have taken up residence on the back deck.
The louvred verandahs of this airy Queenslander house some more intimate spaces, where you and your beau can cuddle up in a cushioned corner banquette or sit facing each other with only one or two other tables in your eyeline.
There’s even a row of day-beds, nicely framed by whitewashed palm trunks dripping in staghorn ferns.
Across all the spaces, relaxed Sunday tunes help you say farewell to another fine weekend.
The setting is enough to make you feel like you’d taken a holiday from your life, so I extend those holiday feels with a Cocobomb ($18). This easy-to-like cocktail shakes coconut tequila, 1800 Anejo tequila, pineapple and agave syrup into a martini glass. Equally easy to drink is the Bombini Mule ($15) that muddles up spiced rum and Havana Club Añejo 3 Años Rum with ginger beer, mint and lime. We kick back with our drinks and enjoy the airflow on this balmy evening, me with a whiff of the ocean from a swim at Pearl Beach still in my hair.
Owner/chef Cameron Cansdell has a make everything in-house philosophy that you’ll get better acquainted with over his opening basket of bread. The house-made tomato focaccia goes down a treat with the accompanying ricotta and fennel gel. Thankfully Cansdell only gives you enough bread to whet your appetite because the mains that follow are generously proportioned.
Inspired by my day by the sea, I kicked off with Yellowfin Tuna Crudo ($29). Hidden under a crisp shard of Sardinian flatbread (pane carasau) it’s an unusually bright and acidic raw tuna dish, tempered by basil oil.
My dining companion is a sucker for Iberico Ham ($35). At Bombini it’s finely sliced and laid across a plate with four well-blistered padron peppers (one of which was actually hot, making them better than any of the ones I’ve had in Sydney this year) and breadsticks.
Cansdell also makes his own nicely textural Spaghetti ($38) then tangles it up with the bounty of the sea - pippies and garum di tonno. The pungent fish paste is balanced with garlic, lively chilli and parsley for an accessible and enjoyable dish.
Cooked for seven hours, the Brooklyn Valley Beef Short Rib ($42) will stonker you into submission, perfect for the hour and half drive back to Sydney while your body digests. It’s served with lovely grilled Italian polenta, bitter chicory (to help you digest) and horseradish to enliven the palate and ensure you eat your way through the thick slab of beef.
Broccoli ($9) dusted with Grana Padano and lightly tossed with garlic and chilli was entirely superfluous to our needs.
While Bombini is pricy, at least by Sydney standards, it’s such a pretty destination you’re likely to leave on high, especially if you tackle their Bombini Raspberry & Cream ($19) before you drive back. This pretty little verrine of soft poached meringue, prosecco jelly and tart raspberry sorbet sprinkled with freeze-dried raspberry powder, has been on the menu since Bombini opened, and it manages to be a great palate cleanser even with the cream.
Did I mention Bombini is just an hour and a half from Sydney’s Inner West?
NOTE: Bombini also operates Bombini Pizza and you can find my review of it HERE.
366 Avoca Drive, Kincumber
Ph: (02) 4381 1436