An all-day Bondi coffee spot, restaurant and bar from Three Blue Ducks co-founder Darren Robertson.
Chef Darren Robertson's reputation precedes him — those who do not already know him from his time at the tremendously luxe Tetsuya's or as one of the main minds, and palates, behind Australian restaurant group Three Blue Ducks, will surely have recognised him as a judge on My Kitchen Rules back in the day. Now, the famed chef has opened his 100-seater in Bondi in the former site of The Hill Eatery.
The name Rocker refers to the nose-to-tail of a surfboard that ties in with both the style of cooking Robertson is known for and with the surf-crazed Bondi community. This local vibe is echoed in the fit-out, which includes timber floorboards alongside concrete panelling and navy blue tiling and table surfaces that give the space a nautical feel.
"We utilised a lot of existing materials to create an industrial yet warm vibe that combines coastal elements with hanging greenery," says Robertson.
Running the kitchen day-to-day is Stuart Toon, who has a decade of experience as a butcher working with Jamie Oliver. The precise, seasonal menu is distinguished by regular specials and fresh ingredients.
The all-day lunch and dinner service starts from noon, with 'smalls' including olives, oysters and salads, and kangaroo tartare with blueberry and fried curry leaf. For 'bigs', think pasta dishes like pappardelle and beef cheek ragu and a wintry pumpkin risotto with pecorino and egg yolk. Diners can also expect pan-fried Ocean Jacket fillets with braised onion and from the grill Jack's Creek sirloin cuts. Desserts included a cheese platter with roasted fig jam and pumpernickel crisps.
On the drinks side at Rocker is a wine list that mixes old-school and new-school wines from young and exciting winemakers. The cocktail list includes a range of negronis, margaritas and slushies, while local craft brewers 4 Pines appears on tap next to Spanish classic Estrella Damm. It all sounds almost too good to be true, but the proof is in the pudding.
Images: Katje Ford.
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