Sigh. Pub food, amirite? With all of the soggy parmies and rubbery steaks on offer these days, a proper watering hole with oodles of food options and a place to get your dance on is like finding a parking spot at the beach on a Saturday: when you’ve got it, you hold on to that baby for dear life.
Metaphors aside, The Eastern in Bondi Junction might look like a pub from the outside, but it’s not. And by that I mean there are four levels of foodie, dancey goodness. Serving up everything from towering burgers to green smoothies and tacos.
Allow me to elaborate. Here’s your step-by-step guide to everything The Eastern has to offer.
Ground Floor | Goodtime Burgers & Sportsbar
Is there ever a non-good time to be had with burgers? Didn’t think so. This Bondi burger joint in The Eastern is pulling out all the stops, with a selection of damn good burgers for any occasion where good food is required (i.e. every day).
Goodtime Burgers & Sportsbar also offer the best thing since meat between two buns in the form of Man vs Burger, the ultimate in Sydney food challenges. $25 will get you a five-pattie burger with bacon, cheese, pickle, onion, lettuce, and tomato. Finish this bad boy (aptly named ‘the juggernaut’) in 8 minutes or less, and you’ll get the burger free, as well as your pic on the wall of fame. #lifegoals.
Level One | Bondi Harvest
After all of that meaty, cheesy, saucy goodness, you’re going to need some nourishing food. And Bondi Harvest has just that; delicious food that you’ll forget is healthy. Headed up by Guy Turland and Mark Alston, you can expect mouth-watering meals that are so ‘grammable it hurts. On a hot summer morning, it’s got to be the chilled super food bowl, a blend of *deep breath* avocado, banana, maple syrup, almond milk, cinnamon, coconut water, activated almonds and bee pollen. With granola, of course. Yep, healthy eating doesn’t get tastier than this.
More of a lunch lover? Fair call. Go for one of their salads (that won’t leave you hungry after 20 minutes), they’re seasonal, so you can always expect fresh produce and awesome flavour. Add some meat if that’s your jam—the pulled lamb is the perfect addition.
In the evening when salads are out and with nibbles are in, Bondi Harvest is still the place to be. The small plates are absurdly tempting, think marinated white anchovies or whipped goats cheese on charred sourdough, before you dive into the Harvest boards, where charcuterie and cheese bring their A-game.
Plus, between 5pm-7pm Monday –Friday, Bondi Harvest is offering the healthiest happy hour in town, with $5 beer, wine, spirits and share plates. You’ll love every plate-licking minute of it.
Level Two | El Topo Basement
I realise it’s a little confusing to have El Topo ‘basement’ on level two, but just be quiet and go with it, because this place really is fun. Places to have some drinks and go dancing in Sydney (that aren’t shit) are few and far between, but this joint has become the favourite haunt of locals thanks to its awesome music, all-around fun vibe and 4am license. Go give those dancing shoes a workout, whydontcha?
Level Three | El Topo Mexican
A far cry from the dodgy Mexican joints of which there are far too many of in Sydney, El Topo Mexican sits atop The Eastern, and you better believe it’s some of the best and most authentic Mexican food in Sydney. There’s everything from small snacks (the charred corn with pumpkin seed, chipotle and queso fresco is mandatory), to epic $6 tacos—try the soft shell crab ($8)—to larger plates that will open your mind to a new wave of Mexican fare. The pollo completeo en achiote (whole grilled spatchcock marinated in achiote on a quinoa salad) is juicy, fresh, and oh so flavoursome. You might think you’re sharing this, but you’d be wrong.
Plus, in case you haven’t noticed, all of the food names are really fun to say.
Side note: $10 margaritas on Mondays bring all the beginning-of-week fun to the yard.
That’s right, The Eastern is four levels of food, drink, and dancing. And it’s calling your name… Can you hear it?
Image credit: Jackielyn Powell
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