Review of Bondi Grill House
Bondi Grill House– From Australia to Orange County, Bondi Delivers great BBQ
Bondi Grill House opens their first location in the United States at the Bella Terra Mall in Huntington Beach. Perhaps you are thinking, “great… another Outback Steakhouse.” This is the first thought that came to my mind as well.
What I discovered is that Bondi Grill House is a very unique restaurant in its own right, using recipes directly from Australia and South Africa. You can expect meat served on the bone, half chickens and fresh seafood.
One of the best aspects of Bondi is their high quality meats, unique sauces and grilling methods. Bondi a place were you can enjoy a gastronomic debauchery with a giant platter of ribs.
This restaurant group is well established in Australia under the name “Hurricanes.” Obviously they had to pick a new name since Southern California already has a restaurant /bar with the same name. The first location is at the Bella Terra mall, across from the Cheesecake Factory.
What we ate at Bondi Grill
Garlic Bread Roll
The garlic bread roll is quite impressive. It has all the great hallmarks of an awesome garlic bread. First the aroma of garlic preceeds the arrival of the loaf. Second, the roll is crunchy on the outside and soft, almost juicy, on the inside. The taste and aroma of garlic and herbs permeates your palate. Nicely done! ($2.95)
Peri Peri Prawns
Shrimp are sauteed with butter, fresh garlic and a wonderfully delicious peri peri sauce. The dish is served over rice. What is peri peri sauce you ask? It is slightly spicy and has a sweetly rich flavor.
The sauce gets its name from the piri piri chili, also known as bird’s eye chili. Shrimp is the perfect canvas for peri peri sauce, as the sauce is sweet, fragrant and spicy. It matches the sweet umami flesh of the shrimp nicely. ($12.95)
This is the Bondi Grill’s house-made interpretation of the traditional South African sausage. It is made with 80% beef and 20% pork. The result is a looser meat sausage, that is typical with beef and especially the South African variety. The meat was very flavorful on it’s own right, but tasted best with the “monkey gland sauce.”
Don’t worry, there are no monkeys or glands in this sauce. J It is a popular BBQ sauce in South Africa made from dried apricots which is used to make a chutney. ($11.95)
Bondi Grill’s roasted artichokes are roasted at the same 825 degrees as the meat, giving them a nice char and smokiness deep in the flesh. It is served with a Greek Tzatziki Sauce and lemon wedges. Good, but not the best artichokes that I have tasted. ($10.95)
Spinach & Strawberry Salad
The spinach and strawberry salad is nicely balanced with its use of fresh ingredients and flavor layers. It is made with baby spinach, sliced strawberries, fresh goat cheese, spiced candied almonds, with poppy seed dressing.
I liked how the richness of the goat cheese played with the sweet strawberries and sweet nuts. (Large $12.95)
Arugula, Orange & Beet Salad
This salad was also well balanced with wild organic arugula, red beets, orange segments, goat cheese, spiced candied almonds and organic quinoa. The surprisingly secret ingredient that transformed this dish is the quinoa.
I have eaten many beet, citrus and goat cheese salads before, but this one was very different. I personally prefer this salad over the spinach and strawberry salad. ( Large $12.95)
Pulled Pork Sandwich
An impressive pulled pork sandwich. A half pound of slow braised pork but is served shredded on a large artisan bun. The meat is dressed with a tangy bbq sauce and topped with house made coleslaw. What I liked about the pulled pork sandwich is that it did not get too drippy on the first bite.
What I did not like is that the meat was too shredded for my taste. With that said, the pulled pork sandwich is very delicious. This dish is big enough for a twosome, with girly appetites, to share. ($12.95)
I consider myself to be a lamburger snob. In addition, my expectations for Bondi’s lamb burger are very high, since lamb is one of the signature meats of Australia. Bondi’s lamb burger weighs a full half pound of grass-fed lamb meat. It is dressed with sundried tomatoes, feta, red onion, lettuce, tomato, pickle and tzatziki.
The lamb burger, as all of Bondi’s Burgers, is char-grilled at 825° to lock in the juices. The lamb burger is extremely deep in lamb flavors, as the grass fed flavors shine through. Overall this is a really nice lamb burger. ($13.95)
The ribs are perhaps the best items on Bondi’s menu. Why? I think the quality of the pork and beef ribs are extremely high and they don’t mess around with portion size. Come in hungry, these are not the skimpy Outback Steakhouse portions.
Bondisaurus Pork Ribs
The Bondisaurus Pork Ribs are extremely impressive for anyone who is a fan of pork ribs. The meat itself is free range, hormone, antibiotic and steroid free meat that is fed with a 100% vegetarian diet. All natural? Hell yes. According to the owner, this grade and cut of pork rib is not sold anywhere else in North America.
The pork ribs are not trimmed straight; as a result, you still get the tips. The result is a 3 lbs ribs served on a giant platter. The ribs are heavily basted in a secret house made bbq sauce and finished at 825 degrees on the grill. These searing locks in the juices and fuses the sauce to the meat. The rib meat is soft, yet still has a little tooth to it.
I personally hate “fall off the bone” soft ribs. Bondi’s had the perfect “bite back”, that still easily rips off the bone with a study chomp. (Half Rack $22.95 Full Rack $34.25).
Beef Back Ribs
The beef ribs are big enough to use as a weapon and chocked full of meat. The beef easily rips off the bone with a hearty cave man bite. Just like the pork ribs, the beef ribs are finished at 825 degrees.
The beef ribs come in a spicy and standard BBQ sauce. Both the pork ribs and beef ribs are served with fries. I personally prefer the pork ribs over the beef ribs. (Full Rack $29.95 Half Rack $16.95)
Sticky Date Pudding,
This is a traditional Australian dessert cake made with California dates. The cake is served hot and is rich with fig flavor and sweetness in each bite. It is served with vanilla ice cream and salted caramel sauce. This is a must order dessert. ($8.95)
Since Bondi is still new, they are working with a beer and wine cocktail license. This did not stop them from making some really impressive wine based cocktails. I tried several of them, but I can recommend the Blue Hurricane, Strawberry Smash, Pomegranate Cooler, and the Bondi Collins.
The slightly lighter nature of these wine cocktails is that the flavors of the ingredients are more forward on the palate. The pomegranate cooler is made with Carpano Bianco, pomegranate syrup, orange , lemon, and soda water. The Bondi Collins is made with Nolly Prat Vermouth, lime, and ginger beer.
The Strawberry Basil Smash is made with Sauvignon Blanc, simple syrup, fresh strawberries, basil, and soda.The Blue Hurricane is made with Lilet Blanc, Hurricane Liqueur, orange, Luxardo cherries
My Final Thoughts about Bondi Grill
Bondi is not your Momma’s barbeque. Bondi Grill is a great place to visit for hardy BBQ, meat and cocktails in the Australian style. I enjoyed eating the ribs straight from the bone and really liked the flavors of their sauces. Although Bondi Grill House is not haute cuisine, it is perfect when you want grilled meats. I liked the friendly atmosphere in the restaurant and attentive service. Tom’s Foodie Blog recommends Bondi Grill House.