We’ve previously described Upper East Side Bondi as a lush tropical oasis of good-time vibes and that certainly still applies as we head into another summer. With its exquisite interiors including full-sized palm trees, tropical plants cascading down the walls, white exposed brick, driftwood and bamboo furniture, white mosaic tiles and a starry ceiling with fairy lights, it’s the perfect spot to head to after a day spent at the beach.
With a newly appointed chef, Peter Wu, they have just changed their menu to ‘Nikkei Fusion’. With a heavy influence on raw, vegan and gluten free options, Nikkei Fusion is a perfect marriage of Japanese cuisine combined with ingredients and flavours of Peru. Nikkei was born in the late 1800s when Japanese men went to Peru – at the time they didn’t have access to their usual ingredients and instead merged their traditional Japanese recipes to include all local ingredients of Peru and Latin America.
Wu’s fine dining expertise and a love of indulgent, casual style food elevates the Upper East Side offering. Combining the highest of standards, presentation and creativity of casual dining with the moreish qualities of feel-good cuisines, the wholesome menu features spring plates and share dishes using farm-sourced produce wherever possible to create a hearty, fresh and seasonal menu with minimal waste.
Highlights from the Raw Bar include Sydney rock oysters, Kingfish Sashimi, Tuna Tiradito Sashimi and the mouth-watering Scallop Carpaccio with ginger and chive soy which adds a real punch – the ultimate appetiser. They do some outstanding Seaweed Open Tacos as well including Salmon Jalapeno Tartare, Diced Wagyu Beef, Mushroom Ceviche and our top pick: Spicy Yellowfin Tuna. Featuring a crispy seaweed taco shell, guacamole, yuzu mayo, and cherry tomato, it’s an absolute crowd-pleaser that will have you coming back for more, trust us!
You’ll find a variety of vegan-friendly options on the Garden menu such as Baby Beets and carrots with salsa verde, Chipotle Brussel Sprouts and Cauliflower with yuzu Silken tofu sauce while the Sushi menu will entice you through Spicy Salmon with pico de gallo, Tuna Tiradito Sushi, Wagyu Beef with beetroot chimichurri and truffle oil, and the exceptional Torched Kingfish with salsa verde including cucumber, avocado, furikake, jalapeno and tobiko. Just divine!
Larger items for sharing include Chicken Nanban with jalapeno tartare, Pork Katsu Curry, Beef Asado with aji verde and Japanese potato bravas and our top pick: the Salmon Teriyaki with cauliflower puree (just like regular mashed potatoes but without the carbs). This nutrient-packed dish is healthy, absolutely delicious and a much healthier alternative to your standard fish and chips. Wash it all down with one of their brilliant cocktails or a glass of wine (or five) and make it a night to remember.
Unlike some other venues, everything here is prepared from scratch including sauces and spices. Vibrant, flavoursome and executed with exquisite attention to detail, the new food offering at Upper East Side Bondi is pretty damn impressive. Highly recommended!
Upper East Side Bondi
14-16 O’Brien Street, Bondi
Open Tuesday to Sunday until 10:30pm