Sunday, January 8, 2012

Bucklers Canteen

Bondi Beach would always have a special place in my heart, not because it's a world famous beach but because it's where I hung out with all my friends in my teenage years. There are a lot of fond memories on the sand, in the park and along Campbell Parade. 

Earlier this week, after spending the afternoon down the beach with friends soaking up some sun, we found our way to Bucklers Canteen, the latest watering hole in Bondi.

Occupying the space that used to be Hog's Breath Cafe, Bucklers Canteen is a nautical themed clubhouse with a model ship behind the bar, pirate skulls n bones and admiral paintings and flags on the walls. One of the corners is filled with pinball machines, arcade games and a pool table to keep you entertained; if you are feeling competitive, there is also a ping pong comp on Tuesday nights. 

The place was about half full when we arrived, the jukebox pumped out some catchy tunes while we settled around one of the many large communal tables. The menu came on a clipboard, offering tacos & burgers, salads, plates to share, a few sides dishes and desserts. There is also a cocktail and wine list should you fancy something other than beer or the usual spirits mixes. 

There were orders for the Vege Hippy Tacos (papaya relish, lime, sour cream in a soft taco) and Angus Beef Burger (with caramelised shallots, gorgonzola & caesar dressing), while two of us went for the Bucklers World Famous B.L.A.T (Bacon, Lettuce, Avocado, Tomato) and I asked for a serving of the Marinated Olives from the bar snacks listed on the blackboard. 

B.L.A.T. (front), Grapefruit Julep & olives (back)
The opinions on the food were mostly positive. The taco was good but not quite filling, so if you are hungry, the burgers might be the way to go. The burgers and B.L.A.T. are served pretty plain sauce-wise, but there are plenty sauces (HP, tabasco, tomato, etc) available on the table, that you can add to your heart's desire. 

I ordered a Grapefruit Julep from the bar but felt it missed the mark, perhaps I'm becoming somewhat of a cocktail snob? But the Marinated Olives (olive oil, orange grind and rosemary) were excellent.

What I like about this place is the atmosphere, it's very relaxed, not overly busy and has a friendly crowd. The outdoor seating area would be perfect for a warm evening to have a drink and watch the world go by. There is also free wifi, surfboard racks, bicycle stands and drinking bowls for your four legged friends; with such facilities surely there is no excuse for you not to drop by to chill by yourself or with friends and have a drink or two?

I'm definitely keen to head back for their "Hung Sundays" where you can have a Bloody Maria Brekkie with your choice of B.L.A.T or Wild Mushroom Crepes or Poached Market Eggs with the works  plus a Wreck Bloody Mary and free coffee.

Bucklers Canteen: Cnr Campbell Pde & Beach Road, Bondi Beach, NSW 2026  Bucklers Canteen on Urbanspoon

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