“This is better than Bunnings,” my dining partner remarked as we sipped on his-and-hers cocktails. The Geisha ($18) – with gin, muddled strawberries and cucumber – screams of summer nights, and a Batlow Bros Brew ($16) of cider, spiced rum and cinnamon – is your metrosexual pirate. Yeah, it used to be a hardware store, but hospo hotshots, Hamish Watts and Ben Carroll, have dusted off the sawdust and created a trendy dining experience. They’ve kept the brick and turned the wood into serving trays. Aptly, it’s full of young, future-renovator types. The share-style food goes from Mexico to Morocco, beckoning twenty-something globetrotters. You can almost hear the stories through the food, like the gorgeous Chermoula Lamb Rump Chops ($18) with “head chef Justin’s awesome couscous”. I can just hear him saying, “this one time, in Marrakesh…” Their Fried Haloumi ($15) is spot on, with cool chunks of cucumber balancing the saltiness. Jamaican Curried Goat ($17) didn’t quite hit the mark, although boneless meat and creamy yoghurt were nice touches. Their Quesadillas ($16) sat on the overcooked side, but the bean, chorizo and cheese filling carried me away to a place far from Bondi; which is exactly what you want from this place – escapism before hammering mortgages pin you down.
39 Hall Street, Bondi Beach
Ph: (02) 9365 7176 www.bondi-hardware.com.au
Bar Food/World $$