This is a story of three Brazilian guys, Armando Franco, Mannoell ‘Junior’ Martins and Nicolas Martins, who met in a famous grill restaurant in Bondi, where they hatched a plan to start their own restaurant.
Move forward a few years to 2015, when their dream became a reality. Starting with a menu base of burgers, steak, ribs, fish and chicken with a few salads thrown in for balance, Bondi Grill’e Coolangatta referenced both their geographic meeting point and the grill over which they’d met. They also took their juicy meat-filler burgers to the masses, catering from popup venues at breweries and festivals.
In 2019, with over thirty years hospitality experience under their belt, following the opening of Bondi Grill’e Uluwatu Bali in 2017, the trio set their hearts on opening a third venue in Burleigh, home to many of their avid patrons.
Despite a more hazardous journey than expected, the Burleigh restaurant opened to their loyal followers under Ambience at the end of 2018.
Reflecting Nicholas’s fine dining experience, the menu has moved up a notch from their Coolangatta venue, extending to a greater range of entrées, mains, share plates and desserts as well as a full cocktail menu, providing a casual dining experience for meat and seafood lovers.
Having skipped lunch in our busyness, the sun is setting as we settle in for an early share dinner, interested to see what changes the owners have made to the menu. Served by Junior’s partner, Laura, we order Garlic-spread sourdough to start, tiding us over as we peruse the menu.
The signature ribs, steaks, burgers and wings still feature, so we delve first into the enticing entrée section, ordering seared Saku tuna with beautifully arranged house-pickled vegetables and lime aioli, then four succulently fresh grilled king prawns with garlic butter and chilli oil, a cracker of a dish!
It’s Mains that present the greatest dilemma, as we’ve experienced Bondi Grille’s quality of food before and loved it all! Options include a range of prime cuts ranging from a Darling Downs rib eye to a 1kg Cape Grim tomahawk, a choice of pork, lamb or beef ribs, the meat slathered in the guys’ special baste during cooking to make it all the more tasty!
There are salads on offer as well as burgers, Portuguese-style whole or half chicken, whole fish or prawns and vegetarian, but we settle on a shared main combo of half rack of ribs and 250g sirloin. It’s one of several combos on offer; a meal to share, presented with our choice of excellent crispy sweet potato chips (or baked potato if you wish) and sauce, thus bridging the ‘meal envy’ dilemma!
With an excellent bar sporting beer, wine and cocktails, the venue is complete.
Bondi Grill’e Burleigh fits a space in the dining scene that’s often vacant – highly accessible but top-grade tasty food, well-priced, well-presented with the touch of a fine dining chef yet it’s casual dining. Whether you want a burger and beer with a mate, a charcuterie board and cocktails for a hen’s night or a feast for a family birthday, there’s food to suit all tastes and many occasions. Bondi Grill’e is well worth the walk across the road to visit.
3/1837 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads Ph: 07 3186 9005
Open: Tuesday – Sunday 5.30pm – 9pm
NOTE: We dined using FIRST TABLE to receive a 50% discount on the food.
For free undercover car parking, enter via the Esplanade under the Ambience building.