It’s been so long since I actually had a conversation with my best girlfriend. We normally see each other a couple of times a week but this is at 6am when we’re in the park running around, so there’s no real opportunity to catch up. So last week she suggested a catch up with another friend of ours in Bondi.
I never go to Bondi, and there’s a reason why. Public transport to the Eastern beaches sucks. We caught a train from Martin Place to Bondi Junction then waited in a very long queue for a bus…this is why I live in the inner city.
Anyways, after a short bus trip we were in Bondi. After a quick stop to pick up our friend we headed to The Shop and Wine Bar on Curlweis Street. This unassuming little box is a delight. The wild pink wallpaper feature is a standout.
This place is cafe by day and neighbourhood wine bar by night. When we got there, there were some people scattered on the footpath outside next to the outdoor heaters, but only one occupied table inside. Throughout the night the place filled, more than once. Some stopping in for a pre or post- something drink (one table ordered a petite bottle of Pol Roger champagne), others for a girly gossip, and yet still more for a pot of Lemongrass tea…
And so to the drinking! We settle on Rose, and then we settle on the “Mystery bottle” I’m not sure what’s so mysterious about it, other than you don’t know what you’re getting. But it was incredibly reasonably priced. A teeny bowl of marinated olives was placed on our table with a matching little pot for the pips.
By this stage I was starving! Feed me! The menu here is limited and there’s a bloody good reason why. This here joint is a one man show, and the space dictates simple, throw it together kind of food.
The menu features excellent drinking companions. There is Bruschetta, vegetarian, and meat and mixed in both half and full serves. Then there’s an antpasti plate either as vegetarian or with charcuterie, and a charcuterie and cheese combo, or a cheese plate.
We settle on the charcuterie and cheese combo:
This generous platter was loaded with prosciutto, spicy salami, a hunk of blue cheese, a soft camembert (I think it was camembert?!), some fruit paste, caramelised onion, and some turkish bread and crackers. We dived into this with relish!
But alas! We were still hungry! (and by this stage a little tipsy, having started our second bottle of “Mystery Rose”) so we ordered the mixed Bruschetta:
This was quite possibly one of the tastiest Bruschetta’s I’ve eaten. Certainly not traditional, with the addition of marinated eggplant and capsicum and corn, but gee it was good. I could have had another of these all to myself! I didn’t though, as I was consuming so many alcohol kilojoules!
The standout throughout the night was Anthony, the man doing everything: serving wine, making up the plates, loading and unloading the dishwasher and all the while keeping a well trained eye on all of us, keeping us admirably fed and watered. Also, LOVED the Aesop and Molton Brown handwash in the toilet out the back!
The Shop and Wine Bar is a fantastic little neighbourhood bar, and I really hope that the recent changes to liquor licensing in NSW encourage the development of places like this, where you can catch up for a gossip, a glass of wine and some nibbles in a most civilised non-nightclub environment.
The Shop and Wine Bar
78 Curlewis Street
02 9365 2600