Saturday, 21 February 2009

jo & willy's depot

as published in Time Out Sydney

286 Campbell Pde, North Bondi 2022.
(02 9300 0077)
Mon–Thur 6am–4.00 pm;
Dinner 6pm–10pm Fri, Sat, Sun

Such is the relaxed atmosphere in North Bondi that locals never really want to leave. Jo & Willy’s Depot - a project of Olympic running legend Heather Turland’s is yet another reason to linger. Together with son Guy (ex est. and Icebergs) at the helm in the kitchen, they’re giving other local establishments a run for their money.

At first glance, Jo&Willy’s might appear to be a garage sale on the side of the road peddling vintage shabby-chic furniture, yet this rough’n’tumble pile of old school timber desks, random dining room chairs and fallen-from-grace church seats is really the place to pull up a pew and make yourself at home.

The view is brought to you by Mother Nature, the coffee by Toby’s Estate. The guys here churn out a pretty decent latte, if a tad on the strong side for some. With a view this good, it’s only fitting that the breakfast menu lasts all day. A fairly pedestrian breakfast line up is elevated by the quality of the produce: Sides include organic ham and both the baked beans and Gravlax salmon (cured with sugar, salt and dill) are prepared in-house, offering plenty of options to customise your breaky with.

The pancakes are a local favourite, concocted from rice and tapioca flour rather than wheat. Served with mixed berries, these babies prove that gluten and dairy free is indeed delicious. And if you’re ordering eggs, do yourself a favour; order them scrambled. They’re made with free-range eggs and cream, served on sourdough toast and accompanied by an oven-roasted tomato.

Those who believe a salad can’t be substantial haven’t encountered ones like these. The Yellow Fin tuna variety; grilled and served with avocado, oven roasted tomatoes, green pepper salsa and rocket, will make you feel healthier just by looking at it. The salsa is fresh and tangy which works well with smoky-grilled flavour of the tuna, resulting in a salad that is fresh, simple and delicious.

The cow in question in the roast beef salad is organic (like all meat on the menu). Spice-encrusted on the outside and perfectly pink on the inside, served with roasted garlic, beetroot, caramelised onions, asparagus, rocket and baby spinach. The beef is tender, the greens crisp and the beetroot sweet and earthy – finished with a balsamic glaze, it doesn’t get more perfect on a summer’s day.

The lunch list may be a little salad heavy (and they’re all good), but there are choices for carb lovers too, including the popular Marinated Chicken Panino –served with avo, mayo and tomato. A basic chicken sanga will never seem quite the same.

Complete lunch with a homemade berry and banana muffin – they’re baked fresh each day and will put to shame those who limit themselves to muffin tops – there are berries right down to the base and the result is like eating a tart, sweet tuft of cloud.

While Jo&Willys should never give up their day job, they also moonlight as a dimly lit wine bar cum restaurant. If the current economic crisis has left you a little light in the pocket, you’ll be happy to find cheap thrills in the form of $5.00 house wine and beer specials as well as a selection of Australian drops on the plonk list proper.

Whether it’s a morning coffee or an early evening vino, Jo&Willy’s delivers the quintessential Bondi experience (laid back atmosphere, great food, friendly service and reliably good coffee), for locals and tourists alike.
(image courtesy of dan boud @ time out)


Anonymous said...

Just had the worst lunch of my life at the Depot!

I ordered the tuna salad, and then spent the next ten minutes picking the fibrous rocket stems out from between my teeth. They obviously hadn't prepared the greens at all, just dumped them on the plate. The tuna was dry but at least it was edible, so I picked that out and got up to pay.

When the waitress asked me how the meal was, I said it was pretty bad and showed her the rocket stems. A minute later, the proprieter came out and accused me of faking it to get a free meal!!!

Needless to say, I won't be back.

fooderati said...

Hi there - Thank you for your honest feedback. As you would understand, I can only review my individual experience, so it's always great to hear different points of view.