A new Asian tapas cocktail bar in the vein of Mamasan has emerged on Bondi Road. Although the darkness inside suggests late night cocktails, the weekend yum cha from 12pm-4pm also lures in curious passers by. I’m a sucker for no-fuss a la carte yum cha and the Den does it well. Cocktails are Asian-inspired like the refreshing Ginger Ninja ($16) with lemongrass and Aperol, and the spicy Dragons Breath ($17), or the tongue in cheek offering Love You Long Time ($17). While the theme is a little kitsch, the food is authentic. Prawn and Chive Gow Gee ($11) and Sesame Prawn Rolls ($10) are the best this side of Dixon Street. The mains are a fusion of Asian cuisines, with Malay, Thai and Nonya all making appearances. Standout is the Nonya Curry ($17), a classic Malay dish, delicious in its perfect balance of creaminess, sweetness and spice. Disappointing are the Viet Rolls ($10), spilling over with sauce on the inside and served with a second garlic-y dipping sauce – which probably would have sufficed. Duck Pancakes ($18) are DIY and very tasty, but a tad overpriced for four little parcels. It is however a great place for lazily starting your weekend, then rolling down the hill to enjoy this endless summer.
Dragons Den Food & Wine Bar
227 Bondi Road, Bondi
Ph: (02) 9365 5110 dragonsdenbondi.com
Asian, Yum Cha, Cocktails $-$$