The Bucket List
The Bondi Pavilion, Queen Elizabeth Drive, Bondi Beach, NSW
02 9365 4122
For the past few years a new venue has been welcoming customers to an old building that almost everyone in Sydney is familiar with.
The 1928 heritage-listed Bondi Pavilion is home to Andy Ruwald’s The Bucket List eatery, where you can enjoy the freshest modern Australian cuisine while enjoying one of the city’s most iconic views.
Not that Andy is new to Bondi. He is a local resident and the restaurant is the result of his desire to provide a place where everyone could meet – from child to pensioner, from human to canine – right by the beach! Looking out over one of the most famous stretches of beach in the world, there is no need for any pretence. The atmosphere here is relaxed and casual and you needn’t worry about ruining the carpet with your sand-clogged thongs or damaging the chairs with a wet towel. Your casualness is welcomed and won’t be held against you!
The menu here is inspired by the best Australian produce combined with an accent on Mediterranean and Middle Eastern flavours. Only local and sustainable produce is used, including seafood responsibly sourced from Australian and NZ waters; grass-fed and free range meat from local farmers, with chicken and beef from just an hour out of town; feta cheese from the Hunter valley; haloumi from Queensland; butter form Pepesaya; and potatoes from the Southern Highlands.
The Bucket List is perfect for lunch bites like mezze plates or John Dory fish burgers, as well as more substantial dishes such as the pan roast Cone Bay barramundi with braised eggplant, linguine with prawns, mussel, fish and chorizo stew, or slow-cooked beef brisket.
Driving the food philosophy is Executive Chef, Tom Walton, who belies his 28 years with quite a CV. He has already developed a name for himself in the Australian food scene, having represented the country in international cooking competitions, run cooking classes, and even appeared regularly on the weekly TV show, Ready Steady Cook.
His insistence on supporting local growers and farmers by using seasonal, sustainable ingredients, sourced from suppliers with integrity, fits in perfectly with the health-conscious Bondi locals and is partly fuelled by his own interest in fitness and wellness.
Growing up in the Blue Mountains, learning about food from his Lebanese neighbor and adopted grandmother, Tom seemed destined for a life in food, and has already been chefing for over a decade. By teaming up with Andy at The Bucket List he took the next step in his development, and It’s been so successful that they have since opened another restaurant, Cranky Finns, in Palm Beach.
The Bondi area and the restaurant he helps run with General Manager, Jordan Burrows, predictably plays an important role in Tom’s appreciation of the city he calls home. He said, “My Sydney is the sand beneath my feet and being surrounded by such a diverse and world class culinary landscape – be it cafés, casual to fine dining, small to large bars, Sydney and Bondi really has it all.”