“Bondi needs more small bars,” says Simon McGoram, former bar manager of Porteño, as we grab the last table in the house. Seems real estate is tough, so Neighbourhood has injected new life into an ailing community radio station. It’s working; people pile onto the pavement while next-door’s restaurant owners look on with envy. “All of our cocktails are signature,” says McGoram, which is ambitious, until you see the menu. I try the Caramel-Corn Old Fashioned ($18) with buttered-popcorn and bourbon; it’s bittersweet with salted caramel syrup lurking amongst the ice – and definitely one of a kind. Food is very Southern American meets Bondi, think Popcorn Cajun Prawns ($10) and Big Mamma’s Slaw ($8) alongside Sydney’s favourite bar snack, the jaffle. The Cheeseburger Jaffle ($10), with shoestring fries (on the inside), is a truly tasty ‘burger’ that vegetarians can enjoy too. Chorizo Quesadillas ($19) seem popular so we roll up a few with ample toppings, proving you should trust the locals when you’re in their ‘hood. There’s only one dessert, but luckily they get their Oreo, Caramel Cheese Cake ($14) spot on: with peanut brittle on top and served in a glass, gooey and undercooked, just the way it should be. Go on: introduce yourself to the Neighbourhood.
143 Curlewis Street, Bondi Beach
Ph: (02) 9365 2872 neighbourhoodbondi.com.au
Cocktails, Bar $-$$