When Bondi’s Flying Squirrel flew away in mid-2013, Fat Rupert’s made himself at home.
Fat Rupert’s, Bondi
Located along Bondi Road, Fat Rupert’s is a casual bar and eatery that brings together good food and drink in casual and convivial surrounds. The 60 person capacity venue in warm tones offers indoor and outdoor seating with a long and inviting bar that leads onto the kitchen.
Warm, Timber Interior
Owner Aaron Pearce may only have been in the hospitality business for under a year, swapping a career in marketing and advertising for the restaurant business but he knows how to create a welcoming and relaxed vibe that turns first time diners into regulars. He has assembled a talented team including ex-Porteño Head Chef, Eli Challenger whose focus is on locally sourced ingredients, cooked simply and well. Bartender Sean Duncan (ex The Cut and Grill, One Moncur and Ananas) is in charge of cocktails and wines which have a domestic and international focus.
L-R: Old Mate, Ginger Gent
The cocktail menu consists of eight tempting concoctions ($17 each) and on a wet and miserable night, the Ginger Gent, a well-balanced twist on the whiskey sour with Gentleman Jack, Creme de Gingembre, fresh lemon juice shaken with an egg white goes down way too easily. The Old Mate ($17) raises the ante with a boozy and satisfying mix of Canadian Club Rye Whiskey, Campari and Amaro Montenegro, garnished with burnt orange.
The food menu consists of small plates, larger plates, and if you can’t decide, the Tasting Menu ($49) gets you a selection of items on and off the menu including seasonal specials. The menu mirrors the focus on seasonal produce by listing the main ingredient, along with a description of the dish.
From the small plates comes Okra, an underused vegetable given a simple treatment. Coated in well-seasoned panko crumbs, it is deep fried to a crisp and eaten dipped in remoulade. The okra is soft, tasty and has no slimy character and the dish makes a good alternative to eating chips. The dish is paired with Wild Rock Infamous Goose Sauvignon Blanc ($10), a drier style of wine from Malborough, NZ.
The Cauliflower, teamed with Tupari Pinot Gris – Awatere Valley, Marlborough ($11) is a popular dish. At first, the combination of cauliflower, hommus and pecorino seems at odds but the flavours work well together. The cauliflower is chargrilled, crisp and goes well with the creamy hommus and sharpness of the cheese.
BBQ Beef Brisket Chilli Con Carne
The BBQ Beef Brisket Chilli con Carne is the star of the menu. A relatively new addition to the autumn menu, the brisket is slow-cooked in a smoker for 18-24 hours. Spicy with medium heat, the tender beef sits on jasmine rice, topped with coriander crème fraiche and yam crisps. The pairing with Cirelli Montepulciano D’Abruzzo ($11) makes it a dish you’d want to order again.
Take one bite of the Pepe Saya buttermilk fried Chicken and you’ll know why it’s the signature dish. The chicken is crispy and moist, well-seasoned and sits on a generous bed of potato puree, coleslaw, drizzled with honey butter. A glass of the smooth Chateau Mont Redon Reserve GSM from France’s Rhone Valley ($10) goes down a treat.
A choice of two desserts and Affogato is on offer. The Brownie is light in texture, served warm with a side of vanilla ice cream and being gluten-free, it’s a dessert to enjoy without the guilt. A glass of Alvear Pedro Ximenez ($ 12) is a sweet and luxurious drop to end the night.
Unlike the name, dining at Fat Rupert’s won’t make you wish you had worn your stretchy pants. The food will leave you happy and satisfied, the cocktails will lure you for one more and the wines make for easy sipping. As for Rupert, he is the owner’s dog, a cocker spaniel that was accidentally overfed at one time, and a cool brand that sends the message that this is a venue that encourages its patrons to relax and have fun.
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249 Bondi Rd
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