Whole experience (cafe + coffee): 28/40
Bondi Junction is not known for its great food or its great coffee. But you make the most of where you are at.
Last Saturday morning found Nerd 2 and I in Bondi Junction, wandering the many floors of the most confusing shopping mall in Australia.
While there are a multitude of food courts and coffee shops (if you can find them), pickings of where you’d be keen to eat and get a good coffee are slim.
One of the newer options, that Nerd 2 had heard about was Bondi Harvest in the Eastern Hotel. We thought it would be worth a shot.
Let’s face it, if you’re around my age, the Eastern is not somewhere that: 1.You’ve likely been to in a while and 2. A place you would have thought about ever eating in at.
For starters you’ll notice the place has a killer layout. Walking in, I found Bondi Harvest to be fresh, open and modern, yet old in style. It is a cafe that has made use of the art deco style space and captured a classic yet modern diner feeling.
I had to stop my ogling quickly as I ran into the “please wait here for a table sign”. Even though the cafe was a little empty, the staff asked us to wait, good service, a little funny though. We waited a minute or two and then were shown to a window table, facing the mall.
We put in our order for 2 long blacks and some brilliant looking food options.
The aroma of the coffee was of the roast, rather than the bean – Vittoria coffee (the roast) is an old school coffee that follows a very mass produced but traditional Italian style coffee in flavour. In essence they chose mass quality consistency over being individually brilliant.
The coffee’s initial flavours were neutral to sweet (milk chocolate like), quite acidic with a slight bitterness on the tongue.
On the food – it did take a little while, but was well worth the wait. I was particularly jealous of Nerd 2’s meal which was quite spectacular.
Back to the coffee – Letting it sit for a while did no favours to the taste. The dark roasted flavours, which were more on the bitter and acidic side initially, were now overly dominant totally suppressing the sweet milk chocolate bean.
Overall the café is a strong option, with its food and redone space being the two killer blows. Yet if you’re a coffee nerd like me, the coffee is itself the letdown and a little off par. Yet, if you judge a coffee by its nearby peers (against other Bondi Junction options) it starts to become one of the better options around. Worth the visit if you’re in the Junction.
1. Coffee score
Style (look and feel): 7/10
Experience (taste and smell): 6/10
Coffee total: 13/20
2. Cafe score
Style (what’s it feel like): Modern diner
Whole experience (coffee + cafe): 28/40