85 Bronte Road
p: 02 9389 9950
5.30pm - late
I look back on my time at Curlewis Street, Bondi with fondness.
Back then the ‘beautiful people’ were anyone who didn’t regularly put needle to arm.
Swimming in summer inevitably lead to an encounter with the ‘Bondi Cigar’; and in winter it became a ghost town, where the ever present junkies & grotty, old buildings just added to its abundant charm.
It was rough and scary, but thrilling at the same time.
Who can forget late nights drinking at the Bondi Tram; the blood splattered walls of the pool room at the Bondi Hotel and the freaky goings on at the legendary Astra Hotel….those were the days indeed, my friends.
There was no Icebergs, no North Bondi Italian. Fine dining was a counter lunch of meatloaf and 'deb' at the Bondi Hotel; or a dodgy pie from The Flying Pieman (rumour had it they contained cat food).
I miss the ‘old’ Bondi.
Buggles and I very rarely return to Bondi these days. We have made the trip for Icebergs, the occasional breakfast at Blue/Orange, the odd pizza & gelato at Pompei’s and the fantastic tempura vegetables & chips at Mongers.
We visit Bondi Junction even more rarely, usually just for a Gold Class session at the Event Cinemas.
So it is odd, that this Monday night, finds us standing outside Veda on Bronte Road.
We do love a spot of Indian & we do recall reading some quite good reviews of this establishment, so we decide to pop inside & give it a burl.
The room is a good size with large, well spaced tables. The wood panelling dates it a little, but on the whole it is a comfortable, clean space.
The menu looks pretty interesting & veers away from 'typical' Indian fare as we have come to know it.
We decide to start with Delhi Ki Chaat, crisp desiree potatoes mixed with fresh mint and coriander leaves and topped up with variety of chutneys. This is not what we expect. It consists of two halves of a scooped out, not remotely crispy, potato filled with chickpeas, mint & coriander, sitting in a pool of yoghurty liquid. The flavour is good, but it is all a bit mushy; a textural fail.
Next is Dhuan Paneer, clay oven smoked cottage cheese in paprika marinade. The two large, thick wedges of paprika soaked paneer are delicious and we devour them quickly.
It is at this point that something odd happens, while collecting our empty entree plates, the waiter makes a point of carefully removing the cutlery we have just used for said entrees & returns it to the table.....without even giving it a wipe at least!
Anyway, mains have arrived.
Murg Dakshini, chicken morsels cooked in rich coconut sauce, fresh curry leaves and mustard seeds. The chicken is very tender & moist, the sauce very mild with little heat.
Bahar-E-Kofta, Indian cottage dumplings stuffed with raisin and almonds, simmered in fresh spinach sauce. Another mild, yet fully flavoured dish, that is moreish & delicious.
We finish off with Rose Kulfi, home-made Indian ice cream flavoured with dry rose petals. This is very heavy on the rose flavour, and while Buggles is none too keen on it, I find it refreshing & it does a great job of cleansing the palate.
Thus ends our impromtu dinner at Veda. Should we again visit The Junction, we may just stop in for another meal.