Cocktails, coffee, and tasty treats – Makaveli blends Bondi glamour with cosy contemporary

It’s hard to compete with Bondi’s plethora of bars and restaurants, but Makaveli – an Italian-inspired modern eatery – takes its place perfectly. Serving locally-sourced coffee with breakfast bites by day and cocktails with tapas-style plates by night, it seamlessly blends cosy canteen with cocktail glam.

The decor at Makaveli is intentionally minimalistic with all focus on the important things – cocktails, cuisine, coffee, and company. A combination of white and grey tones with low lighting, it’s Scandi chic dipped in Mediterranean cosiness. The team is as curated as the cocktail list, with all staff hand-selected from the co-owners’ previous projects. The result is a fun, friendly, and well-oiled machine.

The space is intimate – small but well-used. It’s actually quite spectacular what they manage to produce in such a small place. You can sit at the back for a cosy restaurant experience, enjoy the window area if you want to flaunt your fabulous drinks to passers-by, or dine at the bar-cum-kitchen to soak up the bustling atmosphere. My dining companion – a former New Yorker – was thrilled at the opportunity to do the latter, so that’s where we plonked ourselves.

The Makaveli Marg – a great way to kick-start your weekend!
Photo by Christian Michael

Like any respectable(ish) women in their mid-thirties, we start with cocktails. An Elderflower Spritz for me and a Makaveli Marg – extra spicy please – for her. The spritz – Lillet Blanc, elderflower liqueur, and prosecco – was refreshing, long, and a little sweet. The Marg on the other hand – made with chilli-infused tequila – meant business. Strong, spicy, yet terrifyingly easy to drink – we were sold within one sip!

Next up is The Willowdene – lemongrass and kaffir lime gin with elderflower liqueur, watermelon, lemon, and pineapple juice. The sweet and sour flavours were complimented beautifully by the refreshing watermelon, served light and foamy just like it should be. While I was frothing (pun intended) over my fabulous choice, my companion was just as impressed by the Pisco Sour. So much so that she stuck to this – and requested it to be made by the same bartender – for the rest of the night. Meanwhile, I opted for one last Pippa Lemon (vodka, limoncello, vanilla syrup, lemon, and prosecco) before retiring to beer in an attempt to even out my buzz.

The cheesy miracle, formally known as Taleggio Croquettes…
Photo by Christian Michael

Of course, we had to sample Makaveli’s food offerings – if for no other reason than to soak up some booze. We were not disappointed. The carefully curated small-plate menu offers a range of options – perfect for mixing, matching, and sharing over a cocktail (or five). We started with the taleggio croquettes with pickled kumquat – a literal ball of rich and cheesy goodness. I could have gulped this up in one bite but, hearing my mother’s voice ringing in my ears,  (“Oh Siriol, don’t be so uncouth”) I opted for a marginally daintier two-bite gulp.

Next up – coppa served with figs, roasted hazelnuts and honey. The saltiness of the red meat and nuts was contrasted by the sweetness of the figs and honey, with each ingredient adding a different texture. The bresaola (beef) served with marinated artichokes, pecorino, and watercress was on the saltier side but equally delicious. Meanwhile, the fried zucchini flower, served with ricotta, chilli, and honey rounded off our meal with a rich yet light combination of salt, spice, and sweetness.

Left to right – bresaola with artichokes & pecorino, and coppa with figs, hazelnuts & honey
Photo by Christian Michael

We thoroughly enjoyed both the menu and atmosphere at Makaveli. Given the intimate space, it felt busy and vibrant even during Bondi’s infamous winter slump. The staff’s passion for all things food and drink is infectious, and they’ve found the perfect balance between being oh-so-Bondi-cool and remaining warm and welcoming. Despite our herculean efforts, we only scratched the surface of Makaveli’s diverse cocktail list. We’re already plotting our return…

Makaveli – Shop 2 177 – 179 Glenayr Avenue, Bondi Beach
Daytime hours: Monday to Sunday 6am – 12pm
Evening hours: Wednesday to Sunday 5pm – 11pm

About the author

Originally from Wales, Siri is a native Welsh speaker and bilingual writer living in Sydney. With a background in film and television production, particularly comedy, she loves to make people laugh - usually at her own expense. Siri writes about all sorts from film and restaurant reviews to marathon running and adventure travel. She loves pale ale and shiraz and is yet to meet a chocolate mousse she can’t devour in seconds. An intrepid adventurer trapped inside the body of a couch potato, there’s nothing Siri won’t try - but she can’t promise to be even remotely graceful while doing it.


- Enter Your Location -
- or -