The Sunday roast seems to have lost its’ tradition down under. We tend to look forward to one on the 25th of December, the hottest time of the year to have the oven on high heat for half a day, forgetting that right now is the season for comfort food. It’s no wonder that Brit Darren Robertson (Three Blue Ducks), co-owner of Rocker Bondi is serving up the ultimate Sunday roast. Chefs Stuart Toon and Ethan Smart, also from the motherland have designed a roast that any Brit will find nostalgic.
Situated at the North end of Bondi, Rocker claims to be known for being a destination for locals and regulars, and it is. You’ll meet surfers, neighbours from up the road and their loveable pooches.
Our host Mitch is relaxed and greeting everyone warmly, while our table neighbours are friendly and tell us that they come to Rocker at least once a week. It is a 3-in-1 space, more formal seating in the main room, high tops facing the bar which are great for groups and the footpath, where you can catch Bondi beach glimpses and the afternoon winter sun.
There are some tasty Euro inspired sharing dishes to get going. Homemade dips dusted with spices and seeds accompanied by Iggy’s bread and caramelised onion butter are sensationally savoury. The Sydney Rock from Merimbula are petite orgasmic morsels, drizzled with EVOO and sprinkled with shallot. Perfect with a Jeanerette Clare Valley Riesling. There are typically 3-4 roast mains to choose from, full vege featuring pumpkin, Wagyu beef rump and Bannockburn roast chicken. On this Sunday, it’s hard to go past the free-range rolled porchetta.
The mains arrive on plates the size of a serving platters, the centrepiece is a generous disc of roasted rolled pork with crispy crackling. The sides are almost as good as the roast, charred carrots sit on top of herby creamy braised greens. Some might say the potatoes are the hero of the dish, triple cooked Maris Piper, creamy and crunchy, doused in gravy are damn good. Tall, puffy Yorkshire puddings crown the display, and are the ultimate tool to mop it all up. It’s highly recommended to do a couple additional sides, the signature cauliflower cheese might just be more cheese and cauli! The broccolini with Greek yoghurt, zesty lemon dressing and roasted walnuts, add in the essential fresh greens.
At a time when all we can moan about is the cost of living, you’ll be delighted to find that this epic Sunday roast at ~$30 is 90’s value. And if you time it right, either very late lunch or super early dinner, you’ll get into the happy hour shout from 4pm.
5/39-53 Campbell Parade, North Bondi
Sunday roast are around $30 p.p with range of side add ons, from 12 – 10pm
Happy hour 4pm-6pm