It’s hard to say what I like about Drake Eatery the most. Just opened and already booked out, the light wood furnishings and grainy yellow floor scream beach, while dark wood highlights and floor-to-ceiling windows exude casual cool—it’s perfect for Bondi. What’s more, Chef Ian Oakes named this beachside venture after his favourite protein, and the avenue his grandma lived on, where he learned his first recipes. Beyond the style and sentiment there also is substance, evidenced by musky Chicken Liver Parfait ($16) with apple and rhubarb chutney and crumbs of pistachio; not to mention the shards of bacon adorning pepita and thyme-strewn Roast Pumpkin ($12) with burnished sprouts—it’s simple cooking done very well. My Swedish dining partner exclaims: “My Scandinavian palate is singing!” after one taste of the Tea-Smoked Ocean Trout ($18), the earthy baseline of celeriac ‘slaw and delicate trout punctuated by apple matchsticks and liquorice cream. As you’d expect, the Roast Thirlmere Duck ($29) is perfectly cooked, served on a carrot puree sparked up with hot, fresh ginger. There’s even a lollipop of confit leg. And faith in the staff is rewarded with dessert recommendations of nut and honeycomb-encrusted White Chocolate and Honeycomb Parfait ($14), and Ricotta Doughnuts ($12). Knockout stuff.
Corner of Curlewis and Gould Streets, Bondi Beach
Ph: (02) 9130 3218 drakeeatery.com.au
Modern Australian $$$