Go foraging for native flavours in Bondi

24th September 2020 | Eativity editors

This spring, North Bondi Fish is highlighting Australian native botanicals, offering a chance for guests to learn about the taste and history of these ingredients, as well as how to easily find them in your own neighbourhood.

The venue, which overlooks Sydney’s iconic Bondi Beach, has flipped its cocktail menu, adding nine new cocktails that celebrate the abundance of native botanicals available on Bondi’s doorstep, such as sea asparagus and salt bush foraged from the sea shore and lemon myrtle that covers the streets of North Bondi.

There’s a feast of native flavours right under your nose.

In celebration of the native botanical menu, North Bondi Fish will also be hosting a Bondi foraging tour in collaboration with urban forager Diego Bonetto, sous chef Stefano Mondonico and head bartender Shay Cullen. Bonetto (aka “The Weedy One”) is somewhat of a secret weapon for top Australian chefs, unearthing a treasure trove of hidden-in-plain-sight ingredients, which appear on the menus of lauded restaurants across Sydney.

Guests will be able to forage for native ingredients in the rock pools and surrounds of North Bondi before returning to North Bondi Fish to experience first-hand how these ingredients have been incorporated into the venue’s seasonal menu.

“To tell the story of plants is my passion,” says Bonetto. “I collaborate extensively with chefs, herbalists, environmentalists and cultural workers, promoting new understanding of what the environment has to offer. I love to enable conversations around belonging, sustainability and agency, while eating food. The old stories and flavours offer an alternative way for people to re-engage with their neighbourhoods and ecologies.”

Diego Bonetto can help you to discover a hidden world of native edible plants. Image: Aimee Crouch.

The intimate foraging tour will be rounded out by spring cocktails and three-course lunch at North Bondi Fish, incorporating and celebrating these locally foraged ingredients.

Head bartender Shay Cullen has created the Native Botanical Flavours cocktail menu that will remain a fixture at North Bondi Fish throughout spring.

“We’re lucky to live and work in an area that enjoys an abundance of fresh ingredients year-round, not only at our local markets but also in rock pools and hillsides that most of us didn’t even know existed,” Cullen says. “Working with Diego has been a real eye-opener, and something we look forward to continue exploring through our menu.

“During a time where we’re unable to enjoy international travel, it made sense to celebrate the biodiversity available in our own backyard, and we wanted this cocktail menu to honour and celebrate these truly unique flavours.”

Hungry foragers will be rewarded with a post-tour three-course lunch and cocktails.

Cocktails will incorporate ingredients such as lemon myrtle, eucalyptus and wattle seed, which have created a truly unique flavour profile to complement North Bondi Fish’s locally and sustainably caught range of fresh seafood.

The Bondi foraging tour will be held on Saturday, October 10. The tour will commence at 10am at North Bondi Fish, with lunch and cocktails to follow in-venue at 12.30pm. The price is $120pp. Tickets are available here

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