Located in the heart of North Bondi, Porch & Parlour is a hip, cafe-style restaurant serving healthy and creative dishes that feature the region’s best ingredients. The restaurant is open for breakfast and lunch daily and dinner Wednesday through Sunday. It has a strong local following, and, as many know, Bondi’s locals are wonderful characters.
“We have a really beautiful culture here at Porch – very community minded, and our staff are like family,” said Sam Smith, who owns the restaurant with Sarah Hendriks and Alexander Relic. “We believe that the people make a venue and that, by nurturing this, you end up with something really special.”
Porch & Parlour opened four years ago, but it wasn’t originally located on Ramsgate Avenue, but rather Brighton Boulevard. The original location had two separate spaces—one that held the cafe, another held a retail space—and that’s where the name Porch and Parlour comes from. After operating for a year and a half, the opportunity arose to relocate to a more exposed location overlooking the beach. The move brought not only a more central location but a liquor license and a wine-bar atmosphere in the evenings.
Porch & Parlour occupies a long, narrow venue filled with surprising design details. Hand-painted tiles run along the counter above white tiles, and raw timber pops out everywhere from wine racks to shelving holding sacks of grains. Salad is even served in a bowl atop a raw timber plank!
To enhance the funky vibe, the restaurant’s walls are the result of peeling back years of paint jobs revealing the original layer – a calming green/blue colour with flecks of newer paint still visable. It all feels very homely, and Bondi Beach can be viewed through the restaurant’s front windows.
Splitting management duties, Sam, Sarah, and Alexander all take part in the day-to-day operations at the cafe, and they have developed their own brand of seasonal, health-conscious cuisine. Convinced that good food has to be cooked with love, they focus a lot of attention on developing lasting relationships with other local businesses. The Sovereign Cafe in Bondi bakes sprouted, gluten-free bread for the cafe; Botanica delivers its cold-press juices daily; and Raw Sisterhood makes dehydrated nut and flax crackers and sauerkraut.
Sam is executive chef, and his head chefs are Mark Mansfield and Daniel Brown, who assist full-time, creating and cooking. Each day begins with a selection of (dairy free) smoothies and Will and Co coffee with almond milk. Scrambled tofu is served with semi-dried tomato, basil, spinach, red-onion hummus, roasted garlic and lemon, and The Devil’s Breakfast is served in a pan with paprika and chilli coated eggs, chorizo, beans, fried potato, rocket, and sourdough.
“We are always thinking about different ways to diversify the common breakfast options, and The Green Breaky Bowl has slowly become a signature for Porch,” said Sam. The healthy, tasty, and beautifully presented dish is made of kale, silver beet, spinach, mint, coriander, and parsley sautéed with lemon, coconut, and turmeric oil.
Breakfast is served until 3pm, and lunch begins at noon. In addition to inventive salads, you can choose from the Fish Burger, Steak Sandwich, Veggie and Almond Burger, and more.
With dinner comes numerous bar snacks to enjoy with wine, beer, and cocktails. The dinner menu is tightly curated, featuring just a few mains and less than ten plates for sharing. Try the Zucchini and Haloumi Fritters with lemon poppy yogurt or the Ocean Trout Ceviche with micro veg and bloody Mary jelly.
Porch & Parlour has embed itself into the local community over the past four years, and the team’s passion for their surroundings shines through everything they do. Sam said, “Sydney provides something for everybody with its diverse blend of culture and food, further blended with that coastal lifestyle we couldn’t be without.”