Casual Italian Bondi joint The Corner House is the kind of cosy yet sophisticated joint that ticks most boxes on most people's list of 'crucial elements required for a pretty darn good evening.'
With interiors that hark back to The Corner House's former incarnation as the Bondi tram stop and the bygone days of a less slick Sydney, salvaged railway tracks, wooden ferry pews and acid-treated steel floors give the place a contemporary-rustic kind of feel. The venue itself is divided into three parts: The Dining Room, which consists of a casual street front dining area and a more serious low-lit main room with leather banquette, The Living Room – an upstairs bar and balcony, and The Lobby – a cosy nook suitable for private functions and intimate groups. The restaurant vibe is lively but relaxed, while the upstairs bar is a little more amped, especially on weekends.
The modern-Italian style food that swans out of the nothing-to-hide open kitchen is a balanced blend of rustic and refined. The main blackboard menu is ever changing with fresh seasonal produce, offering hearty treats like a delicate but rich slow-braised duck and veal shin open lasagne, perfectly pan-fried Mulloway with wee morsels of roasted winter veg, and the moistest of organic chickens on a bed of creamy parsnip puree.
If you're after a cheaper, more low-key dining experience, the wood-fired pizza menu is consistent, simple and tasty with the option of the best gluten-free base around. And they serve them in the upstairs bar, which means you need not abandon your crew of 20 drinkers to grab a bite. If drinking's what you're into, the eclectic selection of cocktails packs quite the potent punch, and the small but comprehensive wine list breaks it down in simple terms like 'reds to impress', 'crowd pleasers', and 'fizzy wine'.