Time Out says
Bondi adds to its list of beachside Mexican eateries with Calita, a new venue by the Carbon and Sonora team
There's a natural affinity between Bondi and the tiny, cove-like beaches of Mexico's Baja Peninsula: beautiful people, breezy dispositions, weather more amenable to tidbit snacking than multiple-course dining.
Headed up by the team behind Potts Point's Sonora, Bondi's Carbon, and nearby Taquiza, Calita is a marisqueria, or seafood restaurant, inspired by the region – but with a little Bondi flavour thrown in. It's nabbed a primo waterfront location too, sandwiched between Bondi institution Sean's Panorama and café Porch and Parlour.
Pick a few options from the 'botanas' portion of the menu to start with. The piled-up crab tostadas, which have graced my Instagram feed more than once since Calita opened its doors in December, each go down in one (wide) mouthful – maybe ask your dining companion to avert their eyes before you tackle them. But the grid doesn't do justice to the flavour mélange here: a sweet drizzle of mango relish on the blue swimmer crab shreds is balanced by an oomph of habernero. The prawn aguachile is heavy-handed on lime and coriander, but to great effect. Put down the fork and pick up a corn chip, it's the perfect vehicle to transport the zesty medley from plate to mouth. If you're going all in, try the 'Vuelve a la Vida' (meaning 'come back to life') which brings together shellfish, spicy clamato juice and saladita crackers for the ultimate (high-risk) hangover cure.
Next, tacos. Fish and chips are a classic by the sea, but at Calita, they come folded in a taco with a drizzle of tartare-style salsa. Otherwise, have your taco filled with tofu-skin chicarrones; or trout with green mango; or octopus, chorizo, potato and a dash of chipotle mayo. The highlight, however, is the Gobernador-style taco, stuffed with XO prawns, cheese, salsa poblano and folded over.
Margaritas flow freely and come in four different kinds (classic, jalapeño, Tommy's and mango) as well as some rotating, seasonal flavours. Bloody Marys are given a shake-up: you can choose your kind of liquor, or "make it royal" by adding a King prawn and a dash of sparkling wine. In alignment with the hankering for mezcal that's taken over the city in recent times, Calita also offers a range of agave-based cocktails. The wine list, curated by P&V's Mike Bennie, favours light, bright drops for easy, beachside drinking.
Calita does takeaway on weekends, so take your tacos up to the grassy knoll and sip on a cool Marg. Craving a sweet treat? There's a pineapple and tequila sorbet with taijin spice and agave syrup for dessert, too.
Calita is open for dinner Tuesday to Sunday and lunch Friday to Sunday. Book in online.
226 Campbell Parade
|Opening hours:||Tue-Thu; 3pm–10pm Fri-Sat 11am–10pm; Sun 11am–9pm|