Saving one of the best for last. I have been desperate to get a lot of restaurant reviews up over the last month mainly so I could finish and publish my Top 20 venues of 2018. And (spoiler alert)….. Bombini……. makes the cut. This is the last review so hopefully I can get that Top 20 up by the end of the weekend.
This is actually the second time I have visited this wonderful venue on the Central Coast, just outside of Avoca. But the last time I visited it was one of my favourite Mexican places, the much loved Rojo Rocket. Things have changed a lot since then. Same buildings, same grounds but now it is less Mexican kitsch and more elegant, sustainable and a nice mix of Australian meets Italian.
Situated at Avoca Beach, on a leafy two acres in one of the Central Coast’s oldest homesteads, Bombini (by Cameron and Hayley Cansdell), is more of a homestead that serves food than a restaurant. The land is huge and the restaurant itself is located in what I would describe as a heritage Queenslander design with sealed wrap around balconies. It’s all wonderful timber with lots of different rooms to look at with very cool art all over the place. I am pretty sure when we were there they were featuring clown art, I loved it but it could freak some people out. Besides the main restaurant, there is a secluded outer deck at one end and then lounging booth style chairs around one side of the building. Lounging in said booths on our visit were some stunning Eastern Water Dragons.
Above the restaurant itself is a large outdoor section I could see many a party occuring at. It offers a wood fired pizza bar and a massive alcohol one to keep everyone happy. The place is covered everywhere in lush greenery and below the carpark is their own vegetable gardens, I believe (but did not see) chicken coops, and right down the bottom I visited their two pigs.
Bombini offers modern Italian cuisine with an emphasis on fresh produce selected from Australia and Italy.
The restaurant features a three course a la carte menu, degustation menu, antipasto, cocktails and a diverse wine list.
The Bombini pizza menu is available in the Bombini pizza bar – a large, undercover terrace that houses their wood fired pizza oven. This dining space is separate to the main restaurant. The Bombini pizza menu features a selection of pizzas as well as a selection of antipasto, insalata and house-made artisan gelatos. I really want to do a Friday night there when it is pumping.
WHAT WE ORDERED:
Italian Olives and Balsamic Onions
Freshly Shucked Rock Oysters with Apple Cider and Seaweed Dressing
Bombini Salumi – Calabrese and Wagyu Bresaola with Grissini, Pickles and Reggiano
Grass Fed Battuta with Salsa Verde, Rocket and Grana Padano
Seafood Stew – King Prawns, Black Mussels and Clams in Saffron and Tomato with a garlic mayonnaise crostini
Crumbed Veal Involtini with Pecorini Calcagno, Braised Peppers, Olives and Witlof
Roast Suckling Pig with Haricot Beans, Grilled Radicchio, La Tamerici Mustard Fruit and Sage
House Made Semolina Spaghetti with grilled live Marron, Tomato, Fermented Chilli and Basil
Pistachio Sponge with Blueberry Compote, Sheep Milk Yoghurt Sorbetti and Basil – (they did not have the blueberry compote on the day – pretty sure they made us something with mandarin in replacement)
Affogato made with House-Made Fig Gelato and Amaretto
WHAT WE THOUGHT:
Firstly we started with some beers and wines that I never photographed or wrote down, my bad!! The alcohol at this place is highly impressive. Their cocktails sound marvellous and their wine list reads like the best of Italy and Australia are having a party together with France coming for some poshness. It rounds out with some decent spirits and impressive digestives and liqueurs.
As for the food, it was up there as one of the best venues of 2018 for me and my guests.
The olives were great but my gawd I loved the pickled balsamic baby onions – so delish with a great zing to them. The oysters were sensational and the apple cider with the seaweed gave that extra flavour of deliciousness that made me adore them. I’m not a fan of the natural oysters so having them with flavour accompaniments like this gets me drooling.
The salumi platter was perfect to finger pick in combo with the olives while catching up with great friends and inhaling wine. Salumi just means cold cuts if you were wondering. Bresaola is air-dried, salted beef that has been aged a few months until it becomes hard and turns a dark red, almost purple color. It is made from top round, and is lean and tender, with a sweet, musty smell. It was heavenly!
Battuta is the fancier way of saying Beef Tartare. Combining it with salsa verde, rocket and cheese basically had us all fighting for this dish. I need it again!!
Out of all the mains it looked like the Veal Involtini was the least loved but Jay still inhaled it. It was a nice dish but when you sat it next to the others it shrunk in size and looked like the last kid picked in a school team. James loved his seafood stew and it had an incredible amount of delectable seafood additions. The crusty bread was a necessity to clean the bowl dry.
I devoured the suckling pig and was in a state of constant bliss. The pig was prepared a couple of different ways and having the dish topped with a giant strip of crackling had me giggling in a schoolgirl-like pork crush.
Then there was Lachlan’s dish. OMG – we all wanted it. The pasta was cooked and flavoured to perfection and generous amounts of marron were so sexy we all wanted to have an affair with his plate.
The pistachio sponge was delicious but was heavily overshadowed by one of the best affogatos in affogato history. I ordered a sticky wine and oddly didn’t order the affogato. James was the only one who did and we all had a little taste. And then we all ordered one. I mean – FIG GELATO and AMARETTO!!! I died and went to heaven on this epic dessert.
Bombini is a superb destination restaurant in the Avoca area. It helps if you are staying locally and get transport because you want to take advantage of their fine grog. This is a long lunch venue, a place to stay for 4+ hours with friends slow dining and taking in the wonderful tropical surrounds. For dinner I would lean more towards the vibe of the pizza bar but the food is awe inspiring wherever you are in the Bombini Homestead.
SCORE BREAKDOWN: 3/3 food, 2/2 service, 1/1 drinks, 1/1 venue & ambience, 1/1 cost, 1/1 toilets & 1/1 bonus
PH: 02 4381 1436
366 Avoca Drive, Avoca NSW 2251
BOOKINGS: HIGHLY Recommended
PRICING: Medium to High – most expensive dish os the Grilled Brooklyn Valley Angus fillet at $52-. You are looking at most mains being close to $40- each.
RESTAURANT AND PIZZA BAR:
Wed – Fri: 5pm – Late
Sat & Sun: 12pm – Late
VEGETARIAN OPTIONS: Yes
LOCAL DELIVERY: NO
GLUTEN FREE OPTIONS: Yes
KID FRIENDLY: Yes
*** Spooning Australia received a discounted meal with abundant thanks to the venue and to This Is The Central Coast ***
For more reviews of Central Coast Venues – check them out HERE