Bad Hombres Bondi
08/75-79 Hall St, Bondi Beach, NSW 2026
0422 246 774
Never have I ever enjoyed an all vegan, all gluten-free menu as much as I have at Bad Hombres in Bondi. Big call, but one I am willing to make.
After living a forced upon dairy-free and gluten-free lifestyle due to a body that unfortunately won’t digest the simple and heavenly pleasures of bread and cheese, I’ve struggled to find venues where I can happily surf the menu and actually choose what I’d like to order. Normally, it’s excruciatingly long minutes of scouting for tiny printed ‘DF’ and ‘GFs’ in dimly lit venues, of which, usually ends in disappointment – the gluten-free options are usually smothered in rich dairy to disguise the dense mattress of cardboard-like bread, and vice-versa. Or, instead, you’re left with a poached chicken salad, and there’s only so much poached chicken one can endure…
But glistening under the fairy lights, tucked between a butcher (the irony) and a fruit shop, I realised that a choice-loaded menu was only a few steps away. An intimate venue seating just 35 patrons due to current government restrictions, it beckoned a warm welcome, filled with the smell of charred flavour-packed veggies, the promise of decadent guilt-free dishes and the soothing sound of ice-smashing in cocktail shakers – I’d arrived at Bad Hombres Bondi.
The red brick tables, mustard-hued lighting and rope-strung ceiling set the mood for a grudge-meets-sophisticated evening. And, of course, the only way to start an evening of such is with a perfectly mixed tipple. There are six signature cocktail combinations to help quench your thirst, but we narrowed it down to two complete standouts: the Lychee Paloma (Blanco, lychee liqueur, grapefruit soda and citrus, $16); and the Rosalinda, a delectable chilli margarita (Blanco, Cointreau, watermelon, jalapeno and citrus, $16). Both ridiculously refreshing.
Moving on to something more filling, the menu – which offers sharing plates and mains – remains the same across both Surry Hills and Bondi locations – and for regulars chasing variety, Bad Hombres has recently launched its new summer menu with highlights including the Baja Jackfruit and seaweed tacos ($15), Lomo Saltado (Peruvian style oyster mushrooms $26.50), and Kale Quesadilla with “Oaxaca Cheese” ($12).
Thankfully Bad Hombres’ go-to menu staples remain – there’s a growing legion of fans for their signature Nachos ($17) with house cheddar ‘cheese”, black beans, pico de gallo, guacamole and cashew cream. But, the real champions of the night came in the form of three dishes. Three dishes you simply must order.
Taking out bronze was the classic, juicy Charred Corn with chipotle mayo and sweet pepita ($10). Corn really shouldn’t taste that good, but this one does. In silver, the BH Cauliflower share plate ($26.5) complete with oregano-paprika salt, cashew cream, salsa verde, coriander and onion, alongside mini corn tortillas for your very own do-it-yourself taco event.
And, the ultimate-must have comes in the form of three half-moon-shaped pieces of art, the Miso Eggplant tacos topped with sweet pineapple habanero salsa and miso caramel ($15).
Dessert lovers are also treated to a delicious Mexican rice pudding (or “Arroz con Leche”) or (our pick) encouraged to crack their spoon into a Bad Hombres Sweet Corn Creme Brûlée – made with sweet corn crème and burnt chipotle-cacao sugar. Again, an absolute must.
If you struggle to make decisions or are visiting the venue with a group of eight or more, you’ll love the shared banquet, stacked with a variety of sensational eats, all for only $35 per person. Yep, you read that right – $35 only. Complete with welcoming and cheerful staff, the service is unobtrusive and delightful. If you’re after your Mexican fix, you can’t look past Bad Hombres Bondi.