Bars and Nightclubs
Sydney East, Sydney

Bondi Social

Level 1, 38 Campbell Pde, Bondi, NSW
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Located in South Bondi on the first floor of the Cairo Mansions, Bondi Social marries downtown New York chic with the Bondi lifestyle. Artfully exploited by a 25-metre deck, the elevated vantage point gives spectacular sweeping views of the ocean and a north-facing vista of Bondi Beach. Cosy interior comfort greets diners in the form of candles, soft lighting, recycled Queensland hardwood, warm colours, chocolate and tangerine cushions and an intimate, relaxed ambience that sets frazzled city-dwellers at rest.

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What To Expect @ Bondi Social

Review By Thea Carley

Barely visible from street level, Bondi Social is a quiet hangout ideal for a post-beach cocktail or dinner with an ocean vista. Situated one level above ground at the Southern end of Bondi Beach, one could miss the entrance entirely had they not been looking for it. After taking the lift up, I was greeted by a low-key bar area with a long outdoor balcony scattered with tables and wicker furniture. The dining area occupied the back half of the bar and though I did not eat, everything that came past looked tasty.

I asked the bartender if he recommended a cocktail, but he seemed pretty tired and distracted – it was near the end of the night, however, so I didn’t hold it against him. My only request was ‘not too sweet’ and he recommended the ‘Basil Bash’ – gin muddled with basil and sugar and servedstraight up. The first sip was delicious; unfortunately by the time I was halfway through, the humid air outside had warmed it up and the sugar syrup in it became about all I could taste. It could have done with some ice and lime to cut through the sweetness but all in all it was a tasty cocktail with a decent amount of booze in it.

Afterwards I stuck to beer – Kirin Ichiban to be precise. The prices here are pretty average for Bondi. The cocktail came in at $16 while the beer was over $8 – expensive for a schooner but as it’s imported, I let it slide. I did notice they have 2 for 1 drinks on Friday until 9pm – we got there at 9.30 (doh!) - which would definitely draw me in had I made it out earlier. They also have happy hour specials almost every day which is never a bad thing.

As I was there fairly late, I felt the place was winding down for the night and predicted it to be more of a bustling spot during the day and early evening. There were still numerous tables of people scattered around however, and the crowd seemed to be diverse. An older couple were finishing dinner in the dining room, while a group of young tourists sat around drinking at a balcony table. I imagine when the place is busy it’s the same mix of everyone – though I’m sure the happy hours must pull in the younger crowd. The music seemed to reflect the crowd, ranging from '70s disco to current electro and pop – all fine with me.

Overall, Bondi Social was pleasant and relaxing with a laid-back vibe. I would definitely consider visiting again after a long day in the sun and surf, though next time I would aim for early evening instead as it seems the perfect place to watch the sun go down while sipping half price cocktails or sharing food with friends.

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