I’ve not paid a visit to Westfield Bondi Junction since the place very first opened. And even then I didn’t really have a very good look around – a quick look at Target, a glance at the “posh shops” and then it was off to the beach for Fish ‘n’ Chips.
Needless to say on this visit I was pretty amazed to find a huge, multi-level pub nestled into the building. At first I couldn’t figure out of The Eastern was part of the Westfield building or something that existed before Westfield took over Bondi Junction. Turns out the pub has been in Bondi Junction for decades and Westfield was built around the structure. It’s quite nifty looking and from certain angles the circular façade of The Eastern reminds me of a lighthouse.
On this visit I’ve been invited to the Goodtime Diner on level one to try a selection of New Orleans inspired eats where meats are cooked in an American Yoder smoker for up to 18 hours. Let me at it!
Our foray into the good old days of America start off with a Charcuterie Plate featuring smoked pork belly, smoked cheese, gherkins, smoked nuts and salumi. The cheese was a bit light on the smoke for me, but I loved the smoked nuts and smoked pork belly. Both had a good whack of smokiness about them.
Next up is a serve of garlic bread. It was nice and buttery, and the wasn’t too pungent from too much garlic. There's not much you can say about garlic bread really other than my piece was pretty good.
I think EVERYONE at this dinner loved the Mac n’ Cheese which came served in a little, cast-iron pot. Beneath the layer of crunchy breadcrumbs was a pile of tender macaroni laden with stringy, gooey cheese. I think this dish was the highlight of the night for me.
Coming a close second though was the spicy hot Cajun Corn that was generously slathered with butter. If you’re shy of chilli just beware of this dish as it has a slow burn.
Next up is the meet platter. I felt so sorry for the vegetarian sitting next to me whose eyes brightened for a moment before she realized that the Beef Short Rib was in fact, NOT a chocolate brownie. More for me though, which is great as I really enjoyed the short rib. The meat was tender, fatty and quite moist though I didn’t detect much of a smoked flavor. Accompanying the beef was some Smoked Chicken – again, not overly smokey, but still tasty.
Our feast came with two salads - Cous Cous salad with chickpea, pinenuts and roast pumpkin and a lovely, fresh goats cheese, fennel, walnut, pear and spinach salad which I really loved. The creamy, rich goats cheese paired really well with the zesty pear.
I think if you’re in the area the Goodtime Diner is a great spot to catch up with friends or family. Just don’t try to share your Mac ‘n’ Cheese – it’s too good to share!
The Goodtime Diner is at The Eastern Hotel, Level One, 500 Oxford Street, Bondi Junction. Phone them on 9387 7828.