Bars and Nightclubs
Sydney East, Sydney

The Rum Diaries

288 Bondi Rd, Bondi, NSW
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Vibrant Bondi Restaurant and Cocktail Bar has built up a hip and lively community of locals, and has helped forge the nightime buzz evident on this part of the Bondi Road. A new seasonal menu from our executive chef will keep your mouth watering, while our delicious tapas menu will keep you asking for more. And, stay warm this winter with our famous Rum Blazer, a flaming rum concoction set alight and made right in front of you! Just a stones-throw from the Pacific Ocean, The Rum Diaries provides a unique drinking experience in what can be a monotonous Sydney drinking scene.

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The Rum Diaries Review

Review by Breeanna Donohoe

The Rum Diaries is nestled in the middle of a small shopping strip on Bondi Road in Sydney’s eastern suburbs. My girlfriends and I manage to walk past it twice, concluding that the signage is indistinct, rather than that we are sight-poor. It could also be that we were distracted by what was in the window of the neon-lit chocolate shop directly across the road.

Upon entering the restaurant we’re met by a dimly lit wooden room that lends an immediate air of coziness – ideal for this chilly, winter evening. We arrive without a booking so we’re seated on the high seats at the bar. My girlfriends and I give each other the nod of approval, because we know we’re in the perfect position to watch the sexy bartenders shake cocktails all night.

I take a good look around and see that there are various vintage items adorning the walls, including a battered typewriter and a brass phonograph. A piano hidden against the wall suggests the idea of entertainment, but disappointingly is left untouched the entire evening.

The vintage theme carries over to the cocktail menu, which lands in my lap as soon as I’m seated. The cocktails are listed by year of creation, with many dating back to the 17-1800s.

At first glance the list appears quite daunting – featuring many liquors I’ve never heard of, let alone tasted. However, the boys behind the bar are quick to ask the right questions about our personal tastes, and offer some suggestions of cocktails they’re certain we will like.

I’m presented with a cocktail called the Zombie, and it’s bang on the money, instantly warming me up from the inside out. A sour blend of grenadine, passionfruit, grapefruit, lemon, and lime juices, as well as the house-brewed Zombie mix. When I ask what they use to make the Zombie mix the bartender replies “I can’t tell you because it’s a secret… but you should be scared.”

The staff are the lifeblood of this little venue. All the waiters are quick on their feet, eager to please, and have wicked senses of humour. Chairs are pulled in and out for the ladies, and wine glasses are kept topped up throughout the entire evening.

The food prices are a little severe for the size of the servings, but because each dish was perfectly executed we were happy to pay. You’re generally looking at between $15-20 for entrees, $25-30 for mains, and $15-20 for desert.

Our cocktails were roughly $18 each, but the wine was more reasonably priced at $28 for a bottle.

Patrons of The Rum Diaries generally look to be in their late-20s to early-30s, and couples fill most of the tables. It’s a place designed for conversation and a relaxed meal, so if you’re a bit more of a scenester, you might prefer The Flying Squirrel tapas bar down the street – where the crowd eats less, smokes more, and wears tighter jeans.

All in all my friends and I had a fantastic evening filled with good food, good rum, and good company. I will definitely return, if not only to watch the sexy bartenders shake a few more cocktails.

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