163 Glenayr Avenue Bondi Beach, New South Wales 2026
|Opening hours||Daily 7am-4pm|
|Features||Accepts bookings, Vegetarian friendly, Gluten-free options, Outdoor seating, Licensed, Breakfast-brunch|
|Prices||Moderate (mains $20-$40)|
|Payments||eftpos, Visa, Mastercard|
|Phone||02 1111 1111|
"If you wanted to be really alternative, you'd try your latte with cashew milk. But enjoy your soy." Just when you thought it was safe to get back in the water, someone busts out the most Bondi thing we've ever heard.
This is the Nine – the latest edition to Glenayr Road, with a focus on "clean, traceable food" (how much redacted toast have we been eating until now? The mind boggles.)
Euro-waiters waft around the room (no, we didn't put our names down for a table. Oh, there's the list, I see you've very helpfully printed it on a notepad hidden behind a table. Sorry we didn't see that. But, you'll lead us to that enormous and very empty communal table anyway? Thank you).
Bondi blondes order the cured fish and leave the toast on the side, salty guys order takeaway lattes and mooch out the front.
So far, so eastern beaches. But the thing is, the food here is very good. I'd also like to elect a bonus point for the fact there's a list of things the team here like to drink with brunch.
And if it had been a little later in the day/I'd not been wearing active wear (I'm pretty sure drinking an Aperol Spritz in pantalon de jogging is illegal in 90 per cent of Europe) I may have gotten down with a bottle of natural rose from Provence or a Bloody Mary.
The airy, neutral room has been decorated sparely but beautifully. Individual little rosemary pot plants gently perfume the blondwood tables and waitstaff in Breton tees tread the bleached floorboards.
Think of Jean Paul Gaultier by the beach, and you'll pick up what we're putting down. Coffee, by Five Senses, is definitely executed better with milk (their work is actually really nice) than short. Ristretto nerds, stretch yourself with an organic ginger root tea, and save yourself the over-extraction.
What's interesting here is that despite the fact they over-complicate just about every dish we order, it strangely works, for the most part. Slices of beetroot-cured salmon come sprinkled with dukkah, bedazzled with toasted pecans, a salad of apple and fennel, a blob of goat's curd and a perfect poached egg. It sounds like overload, but somehow it all melds together into a plate of delicious "stuff".
Unlike the yellowfin tuna with lavender salt and fresh-podded peas and (more) curd. It's all a little too busy, and all those flavours drown out what is otherwise a fine tuna tartare with toast. Better larks to be had with the slow-cooked lamb with Israeli cous cous (hey, the '90s – you really are back), lentils and fried haloumi. Or the roast chicken sandwich with fresh sweetcorn bits and radicchio.
This is a divisive cafe, and it's definitely got attitude. But if you look past that and towards what's happening in the kitchen, there are some strong wins on the board. Enjoy your soy.
Pro tip There's a well-hidden waitlist out the front of the restaurant to your right. Pop your name down on busy weekends or risk some French-flavoured ire.
Try this The beetroot-cured salmon is a dazzling mix of flavours that shouldn't – but really do – work
Like this? Oratnek in Redfern takes chicken sandwich-ing in an entirely different direction with their Japanese-style katsu. 4 Pitt Street, Redfern, 02 8394 9550.