When someone says to me cashew cheese or golden lattes or chia “pudding” my initial reaction is to smile politely and run in the other direction. Call me old fashioned but if I’m going to eat cheese I like it to be made out of dairy. If I’m going to drink lattes I like them to look like a latte. If I’m going to eat a pudding I want it to taste like I’m getting my calories worth. So you can imagine with the new menu recently launched at Harry’s Bondi I was skeptical. However, as someone who’s not afraid to be proven wrong I hold my hands up and admit that Harry’s Bondi got it right.
After ordering my second beetroot latte I asked myself, have I been converted? I wouldn’t go as far to say that zucchini pasta and cauliflower pizza will be making a regular appearance on my dinner rotation but as a foodie it is my duty to be open to all sorts. Including the weird, wacky and wonderful.
Speaking of the weird, wacky and wonderful let me introduce you to the Red Velvet Hot Chocolate with cold pressed beetroot, almond and macadamia milk. Now you would be easily forgiven for thinking that this hot chocolate contains…..well, chocolate. I can reveal that it contains nothing of the sort but tastes as good as a traditional hot choccie. Confusing I know. Expect an unusual combination of flavours that are extremely palatable and very easy to drink. So what is this sorcery I hear you ask? Just try it for yourself and let the beetroot work its magic.
And just incase pink isn’t your colour try their bold and rich Golden Latte with almond milk. If you’re not accustomed to the taste of turmeric it might take a bit of getting used to or like me you might just fall in love after one sip.
“When HARRY met Phoebe.”
It seemed that someone else was also feeling the love. Chris, the owner and manager of Harry’s came to welcome us and introduce himself before proceeding to tell Georges that his wife has seen him on Australia’s Next Top Model and is a huge fan. Welcomes don’t get much better than that!
We were extremely well looked after. The service at Harry’s Bondi was friendly, efficient and everyone was upbeat and positive (not something Bondi is particularly known for). The restaurant was an extension of the beach, bright and refreshing and the perfect place to while away the hours.
The food came out in one hit; the table was a rainbow of colours, a mish mash of textures and an abundance of smells. The only way to tackle something like this is to not think, just eat. Grabbing the closest thing to me, the smoked salmon Moxhe style. Generous slabs of house cured smoked salmon tartine on rye with herb labne. Just beautiful. If you live in Bondi l can almost guarantee you’ve had your fair share of salmon on toast but the simple flavours of this dish were done superbly well. I should also give a shout out the side salad. Normally something disregarded by most, this salad was the perfect accompaniment and was more than just for decoration.
Now this is where I thought I needed convincing. Gnocchi verde with broccolini, kale and cashew cheese. Surprisingly the convincing didn’t take long. One mouthful and I was hook, line and sinker. A dish I would never think to order as I assumed it was one for the vegans but having tasted it, this is a dish everyone can enjoy, vegan or not. I would recommend sharing it with others as the variety of flavours are limited and it’s hit after hit of green on green. A few forkfuls are all you need to enjoy this extremely innovative dish. And those gnocchi can only be described as fluffy pillows of joy.
I am a big fan of fish, I eat it a lot and it’s something that I believe can be very tricky to get right but they nailed it. The barramundi was fresh and beyond just being well cooked. The crispy skin added a further level of complexity to it, which screamed perfection. Think pork crackling on a fillet of fish. This was further amplified by the tower of crispy nori balancing carefully on top. The cucumber and tomato salad with heirloom tomato essence added freshness and was all it needed, as the fish was certainly the star of the show.
Just as I thought things couldn’t get any better we were presented with one of their specials. A tuna and avocado tatare with colrabi and apple salad, activated charcoal, miso dressing and finished off with teff crackers. I would eat this everyday of the week and twice on Sunday. It was easily my top pick of the bunch. It reminded me of a dish you would find on an excellent New York lunch menu. Delicate and sophisticated but still hearty and satisfying. The teff crackers added texture and are also unique to Harry’s, as you won’t find them anywhere else in Sydney. This for me put Harry’s up there with the best.
Rounding off the savouries were the sweet potato chips with kasoundi relish. A great little side snack but with all this amazing food we didn’t leave much space to fill up on fries.
Now this might be controversial but if it was a question between Harry’s or Bills hotcakes, I’d take Harry’s every time. Ricotta hotcake with strawberries, blueberries, double cream, lemon balm, toasted almonds, maple, micro herbs and edible flowers. It was new, modern, interesting and innovative, everything I love and look for in food. The perfect balance, of sweet and sour, fresh and filling, bold and delicate.
“Do you notice anything interesting about the colours of the food?” When you dine out with someone who has a keen and creative eye these are the sorts of questions you get asked. “No, not really”, I answered. “The colours of the food coincide perfectly with the colours of the restaurant. The light blues, pale yellows, bold oranges……” Only a photographer would notice something like this.
“None, nothing, NADA, niente, nic, NISTA…..not one negative WORD.”
Unfortunately for Georges and Mona this is where they say goodbye. Georges had to rush off to an urgent appointment so I was left to mop up the juices and dregs of what was left. The waitress rushed over looking slightly confused. Once I explained what happened she replied, “but you still have one more dish left.” Excuse me? I didn’t think I could eat another bite…….until I saw what was coming. Cranberry filled bread and butter pudding with coconut ice cream and edible flowers. The pudding was warm and fluffy and I loved the slightly burnt, caramelised top. The coconut ice cream was not overly sweet and was super creamy and unique in its flavour. Sorry Georges and Mona but you missed out big time.
Never mind though, just one more excuse to go back to Harry’s Bondi for round two.
What I’m Wearing
Jumper: Cos (old) // Jeans: Lee (old) // Boots: RM Williams