2 Bond St, South Yarra
1300 938 638
The name is Mr. Bond. Just, Mr. Bond, because this restaurant lets the food do all the talking.
“Mr. Bond embraces regional Italian street food from coast to coast,” said owner, Gino Forlano. Gino is no stranger to Italian fare – his own roots are firmly planted in southern Italy, and he opened Thirty Eight Chairs in 2012.
While one Italian eatery may be enough for some, Gino was inspired to create Mr. Bond, which he envisioned as an outlet for further expression of his growing love for Italy’s food. Close to his heart is the southern Italian traditional of ‘la cucina povera’. While the phrase literally means ‘the poor kitchen’ it has come to represent a paddock to plate philosophy in Italian cooking, where seasonal and local produce reign supreme.
“We follow this tradition of making do with what you have,” said Gino. For him the challenge is in recreating the flavours and dishes he grew up with, but with an Italian street-food influence. Gino’s culinary dreams are achieved with plenty of assistance from chefs, Gianni Chiofolo and Mirco Speri.
Seasonal produce promises a rotating menu so there are new flavour combinations to tempt you. Stop by for breakfast where you’ll be treated to some of everyone’s favourite smashed avocado, topped with only the best, shaved parmesan. Morning pick-me-ups are available in the form of Niccolo Coffee’s smooth, medium roasted espressos – the truly Italian way to enjoy a cup of joe.
When midday rolls around munch on a tricolore panini with herb pesto, thick slices of mozzarella, tomato and fresh basil encased in a charcoal brioche bun. A popular option is the signature insalata del giorno, packed full of cauliflower, barley and herbs, with sultanas and pomegranate for a touch of sweetness. If you’re in a rush pick up a crusty panini filled with an assortment of antipasti or a simple pizza topped with generously torn mozzarella and fresh herbs.
If you’re after a few nibbles to share with friends, then why not grab a few small plates to share? A popular option is the arancini with peas and saffron or a salumi board with aged prosciutto, hot salami and bresaola. You can also indulge in a serving of gnocchi with rich four-cheese sauce.
Just like Thirty Eight Chairs, Mr. Bond is small, yet full of character with the spirit of a European tapas bar. Hundred-year-old terracotta tiles from Spain adorn the bar while crystal, whisky-tumbler light fittings from London help illuminate the already bright space. A large communal table promotes the social Italian lifestyle and also doubles as the perfect spot to celebrate a special occasion with family and friends.