Iconic Bondi Beach is a must for tourists and Sydneysiders alike. The spectacular coastal views and tanned athletic humans to ‘people-watch’ are often reason enough to visit. There are some ace watering holes and eateries that should be added to your venue hit-list.
Drake is one such place.
Drake is the brain-child of award-winning Sydney chef, Ian Oakes – formerly of London venue – Kitchen W8 and the Grand National in Paddington – where he won a number of consecutive hats. Situated on the uber-trendy corner of Gould and Curlewis Street, Ian and the team are focused on sustainable, carefully curated seasonal menus to be enjoyed in a laid-back beachside atmosphere.
Visiting on a rainy winter’s day the light filled corner venue is instantly warm and welcoming. As luck would have it, as soon as we stepped inside, the clouds parted and the sun streamed in giving us a chance to take in the full atmosphere of the eatery and wine bar. The fit-out is sleek and relaxed with a mix of warm light and moody dark woods, a long fully stocked bar, cosy corners and an open-plan design. We shake off our rainy jackets, settle in and hungrily peruse the menus.
Thrilled to hear the specials include a steak tartare – we match it with a Chateau De Nozay from Sancerre in the Loire Valley. It’s light, flavoursome, washing away any lingering rainy day blues.
The wagyu beef tartare arrives, plated in a colourful balanced display. With grainy crusty thin toast, pickled radish, cured egg yolk and crispy onions we devoured the dish rapidly. Deciding to share #sharingiscaring we ordered a few more dishes – all the while low-key fighting over the mains selections with the ever pressing decision of fish vs red meat (we went with both in the end like chubby cheery kids in a candy store).
The raw ocean trout with ponzu, cabbage and furikake was swiftly followed by the salt and pepper cuttlefish with rocket and lemon. A side of brussel sprouts added the wintery element to our meal and worked back with the stand out dishes to us : the thyme gnocchi with mushroom, golden raisins and blue cheese – and the slow roast wagyu beef shin that all but slid off our knives and onto our eager forks.
Drake is ideal for a cosy date, a relaxed catch up with friends or a special occasion with family. The staff were attentive but not overbearing and we could have spent a solid few more hours sipping on our wine and lazily grazing the menu – all the while of course shamelessly ‘people watching’ the Bondi passers by…