North Bondi Fish

The outside deck at North Bondi Fish.
The outside deck at North Bondi Fish. Photo: Cole Bennetts

120 Ramsgate Avenue North Bondi, New South Wales 2026

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Opening hours Daily noon-midnight
Features Accepts bookings, Licensed
Prices Moderate (mains $20-$40)
Chef Zac Sykes
Phone 02 9130 2155

Once upon a time, this micro-pocket of North Bondi existed solely as a sandy hang for drop-pant-clad fans of modern Italian food and spritzes. Now it's a fancy seafood shack run by the ARIA team with some of the most attractive piscine-shaped neon in town.

Over the years it's been hanging on the show pony end of the beach (yes, CrossFit enthusiasts shredding at 7pm on a chilly Tuesday night, we see you and your eight packs - it's cool to put your shirts back on now) and has seen chefs come and go. But here's hoping their latest addition is in it for the long haul.

Zac Sykes (ex-Fish Face and Fish Shop) can cook like a proverbial mofo and brings with him some impressive seafood skills. While he's changed a fair bit of the existing menu, there are still a few barnacles clinging on from Menus Of Days Gone By.

A pair of fried whiting tacos will set you back $24.
A pair of fried whiting tacos will set you back $24. Photo: Cole Bennetts

Like the fish tacos with two soft flour tortillas stuffed with a lightly acidic red cabbage 'slaw and puffy deep-fried fillets of whiting. I'd definitely suggest ordering them as a snack between pals, but it's probably worth noting they're $24 for two. Rolling four deep? That's almost $50 for a taco each. ¡Ay caramba!

Sykes also kept the market fish and chips on. I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest if it disappeared off the menu there'd be widespread outrage. And with good reason.

Now Steve Hodges has closed the doors at Fish Face, the fried fish here might just be in the running for the best in town. The batter, lightly golden, holds perfectly steamed pieces of ling.

Is this Sydney's best battered fish?
Is this Sydney's best battered fish? Photo: Cole Bennetts

The chips? Well, they taste like a bit of an afterthought, but nothing a generous splash of malt vinegar can't fix.

Alongside those stalwarts (the king crab sliders still make an appearance) you'll find pimentos de padron, the roulette peppers (about one in 20 are hot) all scorched and blistered and a fluffy, buttery omelette browned to a deep amber, then folded and filled with sweet crab, finished with a little oyster sauce. Two, please.

That just leaves service to step up alongside the food. I'm not sure why, on a night when there's only five tables, they have trouble finding my reservation (or at least hiding the fact they've probably lost it) or just leave me at my brightly-lit table with no offer of water or drinks. (Fun fact: I really want both.)

Menu stalwart: King crab slider.
Menu stalwart: King crab slider. Photo: Sahlan Hayes

No matter, I 'spose, when there's a killer beachy wine list on offer with an entire page celebrating rose in all its guises. There's even (b)rose for the dudes.

Pink wine, beach views, nice fish, can't lose.

Pro tip Hold out for a table in the middle of the restaurant in the slightly waning months to avoid the intrusive lighting.
Try this The omelette is a fluffy, buttery crab-enriched cloud.
Like this? Check out Jeremy Strode's seafood skills at the Fish Shop, 22 Challis Avenue, Potts Point, 02 9326 9000.

http://www.northbondifish.com.au/