The boy is back in town. We all know and love The Three Blue Ducks – from Bronte to Alexandria, all the way to Byron Bay, and now one little duck is taking on Bondi. Darren Robertson has teamed up with Cameron Northway from Sweet & Chilli to bring the locals’ taste buds back to life.
Perched on North Bondi’s famous strip of prime real estate, Rocker has snapped up The Hill’s old spot on the top of Campbell Parade. Whether you’ve come straight from the beach, are still in your active wear (it is the Eastern suburbs) or are looking for somewhere nice with your special someone, Rocker has you sorted. Casual outdoor tables for post-swim Negronis, high tables by the bar for a wine or two before dinner, and long curved banquette seats to frame the dining room. There’s copper wall panels, polished concrete, pressed metal, retro table tops, subway tiles, special menus on butcher paper, hanging plants, even a bit of a Swedish wood theme, but it all works. It’s light, bright, chic and hipster all at once, and we love it.
When it comes to the food, Robertson has bought English chef, butcher and Jamie Oliver alumni Stuart Toon to the kitchen. He is full of passion about the local produce, especially the Rocker bacon, smoked on site over 12 to 16 days. They’re currently going through 7 pigs a week to keep up with the demand – the Rocker bacon sandwich on white bread (just like the Brits like it) is a crowd pleaser.
This is Bondi, and it is Darren Robertson, so the menu also focuses on healthy, whole foods. A beetroot and buckwheat pancake is the stuff of vegan and gluten intolerant dreams, while the pumpkin porridge is a crunchy, hearty stew-like lunch dish that captures the UK trend for savoury porridge, but also feels like a big bowl of goodness. The Buckler, a proper Rocker-style English fry up is a hearty dishes that will help you recover the night before without overloading on the grease factor, and then there’s delicate dishes like whole John dory with urchin butter and sea succulents and a Spanner crab roll with lemon myrtle. Save room for dessert, the rye treacle tart is a subtle flavor that hits the sweet spot without overpowering it.
Ex-Bennelong sommelier Chris Morrison has had a lot of fun with the wine list, pulling out local drops like an excellent Tommy Ruff Poolside syrah.
5/39-53 Campbell Parade, North Bondi
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