Bondi needs no introduction. It is the face of Sydney to all its visitors and a comfortable old friend every Sydney-sider has grown up with. It is no stranger to almost every travel itinerary of Sydney I’ve come across and promises a relaxing day by the tumbling ocean waves populated by beach lovers and surfers.
My former colleague, Eve, who had relocated to Sydney for further studies had generously allowed me to put up with her at her place when I had to cancel all my hotel bookings due to my change in plans and early return to Singapore. Since moving to Sydney, she had yet to pop by Bondi and we both decided to visit for an afternoon by the iconic Bondi Beach.
While I had to cut my trip short, I didn’t want to miss visiting Bondi. I heard all about it from friends claiming it wasn’t that great and there were less “commercialized” beaches in Sydney which would be less crowded and as beautiful, but I was stubborn. How could I visit Sydney and not do a trip to Bondi?
It was a chilly afternoon but the sun was actually scorching and we could have easily gotten a sunburn if we weren’t careful (or skipped sun protection). Unlike in Singapore, where walking by the beach would leave you perspiring, panting and generally uncomfortable in our unbearable humidity, even with the hot blazing sun on our skins, walking down the streets and Bondi Beach was an enjoyable experience. We strolled without rushing. I was wrapped up well because it was a little cold out and I hardly perspired.
We decided on an Aussie style picnic by the beach and popped by one of the many seafood retailers (they call them fish shops) along the way. We didn’t really look out for any particular store and we just happened to find ourselves at Bondi Surf Seafoods, which so happens to be Bondi’s oldest fish shop. Bondi Surf Seafood has a good variety of fish and seafood available on ice and are also famous for their Deep Fried Mars Bars.
You can pick these fresh items from the shop and bring them home for cooking or you could order some of their combos and have it to go. We decided to get the lunch special and ordered the Fish and Chips for 2 (AUD19.50) which was basically two pieces of crispy breaded fried fish with one serving of chips.
Bondi Surf Seafoods
128 Campbell Parade, Bondi Beach, NSW 2026
Open Daily from 9:00am to 9:30pm.
While walking towards the beach, along the line of stores in brick buildings, we both spotted Chocolateria San Churro. While we had skipped the Fried Mars Bars from Bondi Surf Seafoods, we were a bit more curious about the Spanish-style churros from this chocolaterie!
We had their Churros to Go-Go! (AUD8.95) and found the churros extremely delicious. The churros sticks were nice and fluffy on the inside while extremely crispy outside and the chocolate dip was so intense and rich.
In addition to their famous signature churros which are made-to-order with a little tub of imported couverture chocolate from Spain, the chocolaterie also sells a whole lot of yummy sweet treats. I saw some cookies and pastries, lots of interesting chocolates in a myriad of flavours and even take-home glass containers of chocolate dips to consume in the comfort of your own home! This is a must-visit if you want some really good Spanish imported chocolate to beat those choc cravings! The Churros to Go-Go! are also perfect for a mid-day picnic snack.
Chocolateria San Churro (Bondi)
Shop 5/84 Campbell Parade, Bondi Beach, NSW 2026
Open Mondays to Thursdays from 10:00am to 10:30pm.
Open Fridays from 10:00am to 12midnight.
Open Saturdays from 9:00am to 12midnight.
Open Sundays from 9:00am to 11:00pm.
Bondi Beach was much more than I expected. I had visited Manly Beach first and that had a completely different character! Bondi is much more dynamic and vibrant. The crowd is also a very different one; I saw younger adults, a mix of tourists and locals chilling at Bondi while at Manly, it was more family-oriented. Bondi Beach wasn’t as crowded as I imagined, no doubt due to it being autumn and the weather was really getting a bit too cold for beach activity!
Before my trip to Sydney, I had dreams of doing a beginners class in surfing, but then booking the trip in October meant cancelling that one out because it would be too cold and being a tropical island babe, I doubt I’d be able to get into such cold waters and come out of it alive. (I was already shivering without my blazer and in shorts in the evenings when the sun started setting. I couldn’t even imagine just gritting my teeth and getting out of the water when the cold winds started to blow – even with the strong sun beating down.) Surfing would just have to wait for my next trip.
Look at this little seagull’s determination burning in its beady little birdy eyes.
We settled down on a comfortable patch of grass and enjoyed our Fish and Chips. Breaded flakey white fish (don’t know what kind) was nicely seasoned but it definitely was a thin fillet. I didn’t mind that much as the portion was just about right for us to share. The stubby thick cut fries were pretty good when eaten hot (as most fries are).
As usual, our favourite feathered scavengers, the seagulls, were there menacingly staring at our food and waiting to attack. They were as fierce as the ones at the Sydney Fish Market but a lot more scheming. They would move almost like cats on the prowl, slowly and sneakily, until they were right behind us. There they would wait till we turned around and attempt to snatch our food from our very hands. Unfortunately for them, I’m not just any silly tourist. (I’m watching you, you goons!) They quickly realized I was not the person to mess around with and proceeded to harass the group of ladies behind us instead. Opps!
I spent most of my time at Bondi catching up with Eve, finding out about how she was adjusting to Australia and how life was different here compared to Singapore. We spent about three or four hours in the afternoon taking a slow walk-about and really enjoyed a peaceful Bondi Beach. Perhaps, I’d be admiring a very different scene if I visited in the heat of summer and I look forward to a whole new world when I return to Sydney one day.