Sunday 14 March 2010

Al fresco at Bond Street Cafe & Wine Bar

Bond Street Cafe & Wine Bar
4A Bond Street, South Yarra (map)
9824 1161

Last night I went to the movies with good friends CD and best-friend-K (to FINALLY see Avatar, in all its 3D glory). When the girls raised the possibility of grabbing a bite beforehand, I suggested a place I hadn't yet visited but had had recommended to me several times by trusted advisors: Bond Street Cafe & Wine Bar. I'm notoriously picky about eating Italian food in restaurants, given the quality of my Nonna's cooking, but I'm happy to report that BSC&WB pushed my foodie buttons.

Bond St Cafe & Wine Bar

We'd already placed our order, but then I realised that olive all'ascolana were on the menu so I promptly requested a serve for us to share ($10). Olives stuffed with veal then crumbed and fried - a few these sinful little babies makes an entirely excellent antipasto. We don't have fried antipasti much in our part of Italy, so it was only when I first went to Rome that I was able to really appreciate how good a plate of fritti misti can be. Nobody does fried antipasti better than the Romans. :)

Olive all'ascolana

The girls ordered fried inizi: CD had some rather curious, tempuraesque frittelle made of calamari and summer vegetables, served with aioli ($13), and b-f-K had some crochette di melanzane con basilico e provoletta ($12). I particularly liked the crochette: they may look plain, but the smoked mozzarella tasted great with the eggplant and basil.

Frittelle di calamari con verdurine di stagioneCrochette di melanzane con basilico e provoletta

I was pretty psyched to see vitello tonnato on the menu ($13), as it's another favourite Italian dish of mine that Nonna sometimes makes. The combination of roasted veal and tuna sauce can throw the uninitiated, but it's delicious. The version at Bond was sexed up with cubes of seared yellow fin tuna, torn anchovy fillets and teeny tiny capers. Highly recommended.

Vitello tonnato

For main course b-f-K ordered the maccheroncelli con rag├╣ di agnello ($26), which she loved, and CD ordered the pasta special: tagliatelle with pancetta and zucchini in a white wine sauce. In both cases, the pasta was just al dente enough - another thing I get very picky about in Italian restaurants!

Maccheroncelli con ragu di agnelloTagliatelle special

I ordered the fish special: it had been described to me by a waitress as snapper but when it came out it was swordfish, and the waiter insisted that it had always been swordfish. No matter. It was served with delicious Sardinian fregula and eggplant.


An excellent wine list and sleek minimalist decor added to the attraction of the venue, as did the location: close to the cinema, but tucked down a side street so as to minimise interaction with the skankiness of Chapel Street on a Saturday night. The hard shiny surfaces mean that the interior of the restaurant can get a little noisy when full, but I suggest perching on stools outside as we did for a lovely (and reasonably priced, all things considered) al fresco meal.


Vee said...

That looks excellent value, particularly the tagliatele - so many pastes masquerading as pasta nowadays! I'm always in South Yarra, wonder if this place does lunch!

Esz said...

Ooh I shall keep this place in mind when I have the craving for decent quality Italian. If you endorse it, it must be good :-D

Anonymous said...

Heehee- was reading your post and thinking how familiar that menu sounded- exactly the same as Enoteca Vino Bar's old menu (I used to work there)...then I looked up Bond Street and realised that the chef is Luigi Buono! Looks like he still has his faves!

Simon Leong said...

i really like the look of your blog and how you have great pick lists on the right. i'll have to steal, sorry borrow, that idea. also my brother was wanting me to create a map and i've noticed yours so it's inspired me to get my act together to try and do one.

Adrian @ Food Rehab said...

Yum, you had me crochettes. Eggplant, no need to say more. :P

Anonymous said...

I recently visited Bond Street Wine Bar and found it to be amazing. The food was fresh and I did not want to share it with my friends. The service was excellent and the staff were very kind throughout the evening.