Look, it’s probably been said 100 times before, but we’ll say it again: Rocker, Bondi’s breezy and cool restaurant and bar, rocks.
Found 200 metres from Bondi's golden stretch of sand, the relaxed eatery by Darren Robertson (also Three Blue Ducks) and Cameron Northway (also Melbourne's Loti) has been keeping Bondi locals well fed and hydrated since 2017, and the good times have just kept on coming.
The menu by head chefs Stuart Toon and Ethan Smart (who are also part owners) is packed with tasty hits, like white bean hummus with pickled onion, flat bread and za’atar; fried chicken with almond buttermilk, fermented chilli honey and orange vinegar; pappardelle with beef cheek ragu, tomatoes, parmesan and pangrattato; and grilled broccoli with curry butter, yoghurt and pistachios. Can’t decide? There’s a stellar feed-me menu for $75 per person.
As well as tasty dishes and fun vibes, Rocker slings some banging deals too. First up is Rocker’s bottomless brunch, which changes with the seasons. The current rendition comes with house-made roast onion and thyme focaccia; local burrata; glazed free-range chicken; harissa-spiced roast pumpkin and almond cream and more. All paired with two hours of free-flowing Mimosas, sparkling, red, white and rosé, for $99 per person. The bottomless brunch is available every Thursday to Sunday, noon and 3pm sittings. Rally your gang.
There’s also a House of Friends event on Friday nights with $16 Margaritas – Casamigos tequila-based Tommy’s, Classic, Frozen and Spicy Pineapple Margaritas – between 4-7pm, and DJs hitting the decks from 5pm.
Plus, if you’re a truffle lover, you’ll be stoked to hear Rocker is hosting a five-course truffle feast this winter. Think Wagyu beef tartare with truffle mayo and shoestring fries; truffled chitarra (a type of egg pasta) paired with parmesan dashi, egg yolk jam, aged parmesan and truffle; Wagyu eye-fillet topped with truffle jus; truffled Basque cheesecake for dessert, and more. The truffle dinners will take place on June 29, July 13, July 27, and August 10.
Service at Rocker is warm, friendly and enthusiastic, there’s lush greenery everywhere you look, and large groups all look like they’re having fun. We did too.
Read on for our original review of Rocker by Emily Lloyd-Tait from 2017.
Bondi is a suburb of two budgetary extremes. There are the backpackers who fill dorm rooms like sardines and know where every happy hour in the 2026 is located; and then there are the people whose names are on the leases, and they are the people that this new North Bondi eatery is aimed at.
Rocker is a little bit fancy. Not Sean’s Panaroma spenno, but you’d wear proper shoes to come here for dinner. It would also make a great date spot because you can just roll up to the bar, perch around the huge communal table and order from their short but compelling list of wines by the glass. There’s a fresh and fruity Canberran fiano from Sassafras that is a smashable pour; the Rieslingfreak is always a good idea; and if you like a little skin with some riper, tropical vibes go the Smokestack Lightning sauv blanc from the Yarra. We’ll be back for more wine and snacks.
The surprising thing about the food here is how rich it is. In a suburb famous for their low carb, smoothie bowl fanatics we’re surprised at the liberal hand on the butter, oil and cream. Even an innocent order of grains and greens provides no reprieve – the kale, black rice, lentils, quinoa, pistachios and currants are sitting in a knuckle’s worth of olive oil.
Given head chef Stuart Toon has clocked a decade in the Jamie Oliver empire it’s hardly surprising that we can’t stop thinking about the al dente orecchiette, dressed to impress in a buttery veil of capers, fresh red chilli, beach bananas and tender, meaty clams. The rich, Italian seaside flavours are almost exactly mirrored in the John Dory dish, so choose one or the other – both is probably too much of a good thing.
Maybe their love of indulgent snacks is a reaction to Bondi’s clean-eating reputation. The Welsh rarebit lives in the crosshairs of an arancini and inside-out toast, with a yeasty ale-infused cheese filling inside a crumbed shell. They’re also frying up chicken skins until they’re firm enough to scoop through the loose chicken liver parfait. The sweet plum in the base of the bowl is a win, but the skins themselves would have been better served warm. Craving crunchy fried textures? The school prawns are all the better for being served simply with a squeeze of lemon instead of aioli.
Service is warm, and if their excitement at people ordering their personal favourite items is anything less than genuine, you can’t tell. It really is a lovely spot for a nicer-than-average mid-week dinner. The room ticks all the modern design boxes: fresh timber, copper planters and indoor plants. And there are outdoor tables with vintage-style beach umbrellas to keep the sun off if you prefer to drop by for coffee and a bacon butty on white bread first thing. But for our money, good wine and a plate of pasta is the winning trick for Rocker.