I’m pretty jealous of all you people who live in or around the Bondi area. Particularly around Bondi Beach. Not only do you get one of the best beaches in Australia (heck, the World), but you also get the stereotypical, but the much lusted-after brunch-by-the-beach style eating.
I went to Bondi Beach on the 3rd of November to to visit the annual Sculptures By the Sea exhibition, but of course such an endeavour involves food. Such food came to us in the form of 34 Degrees South – a café recommended to us by a friend.
Unfortunately, we didn’t actually end up seeing sculptures that day due to inclement weather and unfortunate parking timing restrictions, but food was still had
Date Visited: 3/11/2012
Address: 34A Campbell Parade, Bondi Beach, NSW 2026
Go-to dish: Crispy Skinned Corn-fed Chicken, Proscuitto Ballontine, Truffled Kipfler, Char grilled Swiss Chard
34°’s interior sports that classic sea salt-on-wood eroded look that’s as rustic as it is cool. You kind of just feel that you’re at a beachside café when you walk in. Naturally, because swilling alcohol is always the order of the day no matter what time it is – displayed alcohol takes the front and centre of the shelf.
Well, there are a few alcohol-soaker pastries down bottom. They looked tempting, but I resisted their carby urges. Their delicious carby urges…
I didn’t actually order that hot choc, but still it was a nice flowery design *snaps picture*. It tasted “alright” as described by the orderer. Oh, how modest.
The ballotine is my favourite dish out of what we ordered. Last time I had ballotine was at Aria, and before that, Assiette. For a café this was made quite well. The chicken was organic (no lying – I can’t taste any appreciable difference), and fairly juicy as long as you pair it generously with the sauce. Without it, it’s ever so slightly dry, but still quite acceptable, as it’s not /just/ chicken you’re biting into. The prosciutto is thin and crispy, with oodles of salty & smoky flavour, while the breaded chard filling was…well…filling. Kind of like stuffing, really.
Kipfler potatoes are smaller, paler potatoes which generally have the best flavour when boiled. You don’t peel them if they’re clean, as their skin is part of the serving.
I didn’t really like the tomato that rested on top as I felt it just added a wet mess to the texture and flavour balance, but the potato itself was delicious!
There was too much pasta and not enough filling in this ravioli, but that’s really also because the filling is so nice I wish there were more of it. Lobster ravioli! Mmm I need to begin exploring seafood pasta much more thoroughly after having this. It sucked that we could only have 1.5 each (as we shared everything). I’ll have one all to myself next time
Just a bit too much pasta though, really.
Who could have breakfast/brunch without getting baked eggs? 34° makes a particularly nice one, ladled with bolognese sauce and generous amounts of tallegio cheese. It’s great as a hangover cure that’s as delicious as bacon with less calories (bacon lovers will be hunting me down now, so I need to go into hiding – no more blog posts for several months!).
But really, I’ve a soft spot for baked eggs – they’re a combination of many excellent elements which work cohesively to bring you a delicious and satisfying result. As long as you bake ‘em right and don’t over/under cook them, you’re pretty much set! Winning dish.
This looked kind of bland, but it’s not as bad as it seems. Like a good risotto should be, it is packed with more flavour than meets the eye, but ultimately falls short as it is still – just a pumpkin & pea risotto. Your carbs are better spent elsewhere, but it definitely isn’t bad to try – it just doesn’t have…”oomph”.
Yeah what, a salad? Wow, okay. Well you know I didn’t choose to order this (come to think of it, the only salads I ever get are Thai salads…hmmmmm….). Nevertheless, I took a good deal of the salmon as I’d eat that any day, and maybe a leaf or two…
The salad is overall done well, especially as the salmon carries much of the flavour. It’s not too dry and doesn’t stick around in the mouth too much which is fantastic. Overall though, didn’t think too much of it – you’d have to make a godly salad to impress me.
I’m reasonably satisfied with 34°’s food; it ain’t no Surry Hills, but I could live with this kind of food beachside any day.
Disclaimer: 34° South is not actually directly beside the beach…you do have to walk across the street and then past about 30m of grass but close enough…
As usual, feel free to leave a comment or three
The Good: reasonable café food at reasonable prices. Nice Italian touches
The Bad: kinda bland for some dishes, service was shockingly slow
I give 34° South a grand total of 7 Caesars out of ten – 7/10