With six years and seven Melbourne venues under its belt, it was only a matter of time before Melbourne's fun-loving Mexican restaurant chain Fonda made its way north. Owners David Youl and Tim McDonald knew their format would make an excellent fit for Sydney's dining culture, but it's taken a solid few years of searching to find the perfect spot to pull it off. Now, the latest addition to the Fonda family — the first outside of Melbourne — is set to open its doors in Bondi in a matter of weeks.
If you've been to a Fonda in Melbourne, you'll know that Fonda does casual, affordable Mexican food in bustling bright spaces. But don't expect the exact same formula in Sydney. Not only is this newcomer breaking the mould with a rejigged cocktail list, an overhauled food offering and the introduction of table service, it's setting the blueprint for a roll-out of changes across all of its sibling stores. Welcome to Fonda 2.0.
Fresh from West Hollywood's E.P. & L.P., L.A chef Mark Tagnipez is heading up the kitchen, armed with a new-format menu of signature tacos, vibrant salads, poke bowls and tostadas. These are house-made six-inch tortillas that are toasted, loaded with lively toppings like kingfish ceviche and then theatrically broken into pieces by waitstaff.
Most exciting though, are the new taco sharing boards, designed to bring the fiesta to your table. They'll feature pull-apart meats like slow-cooked pork and braised beef short rib, along with fresh-pressed wheat tortillas and an array of fresh fillings, ready for guests to dig in and customise their own tacos.
The Sydney venue also marks Fonda's first foray into desserts and a crafty lineup of signature cocktails, including the Tea With Freda: a blend of triple sec, lavender syrup and Earl Grey tea-infused gin.
Fonda Mexican will open mid-October at 85 Hall Street, Bondi. For more info, visit fondamexican.com.au.