Bon Bon Bar

There’s something about Sunday afternoon that always catches me unawares. I want to slam the brakes on the weekend, reining in the rest of the leftover hours to head for the nearest watering hole.

‘‘Nooooooo! I’m not ready for the working week yet!’ I cry, as we gatecrash the Sunday sesh at Bon Bon.

Ah yes, it’s all so melodramatic, but I’m sure you’ll agree that the weekend’s too short. Why not cram in enough good times to last through a week of being virtuous? Even if it doesn’t always stretch…

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Bon Bon. There’s something vintage and indulgent about the words. Who doesn’t need a little hideaway, which is exactly what Bon Bon promises from Thursday to Sunday night.
The latest venture of Morgan Walsh and Jess Forras, Bon Bon is a welcome addition to the wildly popular Bonita Bonita. With space at a premium, the notion of a hidden bar, additional space plus viable function area was a godsend when the adjacent office became available.

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Similarly themed to Bonita Bonita, Bon Bon takes us into an endlessly brooding evening, huge ferns hanging overhead and Frida Kahlo watching over us indulgently.

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Brushing aside the cervaza (Brooklyn Lager and Little Creatures on tap), I head for something fancy from the cocktail list. There’s no better place to begin than the Bonita Margarita.

Named in honour of el Jimador, the man who mastered the art of tequila making from the best blue agaves, my hit of smooth toasty El Jimador Reposado Tequila has an edge of chilli salt and candied jalapeno softened out with fresh cucumber. It slides down, silky smooth as the music – Nick Waters’ crooning to his acoustic in the corner, atmospheric and chilled. We could stay here all night!

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Invited as guests, we’ve left the food choice to the kitchen, and our first plates soon arrive from Bonita’s kitchen: perfectly cooked Blue Eye Trevally with marinated fennel, lime and pickled cucumber with a piquant chimichurri, and huge Chargrilled king prawns with coriander crema and pineapple chilli jam. They’re beautifully balanced dishes, brimming with flavours straight from the garden: the freshest fish, herbs picked from the garden and pickles made in house. A finger creeps out to brush up a stray drop of sticky jam…

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Time for another drink: Penicillina, a smoking hickory-smoked Espolon Reposado tequila with traces of lemon, fire water and ginger smoothed over with agave hits the right note. Must be good for me, right? I’m feeling better already!

Happy to sit, I’m pulled up by the next dish, Chicken thigh lovingly rubbed with chipotle paste and achiote, served with grilled roasted peppers, so much so that the Dry chilli rib eye almost passes me by. There’s a bar menu of snacks but we’ve left that for another time. Hard to decide on a dish of the night, really, so maybe I’d have to take out a trifecta on the prawns, chicken and fish.

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Honestly, though, so long as it was served with a cocktail, I’m sure I could manage with style! Speaking of which, there’s time for one final round before we hit the road…

It’s a little bespoke number from the barman: spices from rye, ginger, cardamom and Peychaud’s bitters rounded out with ginger beer, which he names a ‘Tom Waits to order’.

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“Hold On!’’ I cry. It’s finally time to go home, to quit the moaning and face the week mellow. As Tom decided, who wants to become soaked in a vat of bourbon?

Ahhhh! I suck the night in through my teeth. So this is what it feels like – eeking out the last drops from the weekend! Who’d be anywhere else!


2460 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach; Ph: 07 5575 2669

Open: Thurs – Sat 5pm – 12 midnight; Sun 4pm – 12 midnight.

NOTE: Good Food Gold Coast dined as guests of Bon Bon.

This review has also been published on Blank Gold Coast.

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Open: Thurs – Sat 5pm – 12 midnight; Sun 4pm – 12 midnight.
2460 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach QLD, Australia