HOME > Chowhound > Australia/New Zealand >

Discussion

Sean’s Panorama [Bondi Beach]

  • PhilD Oct 8, 2010 01:12 AM
  • 10
  • Share

Sean’s Panorama at Bondi Beach has been on my list of restaurants to visit for years, but the Siren call of more glamorous, or newer restaurants always got in the way. After all why travel out to distant Bondi for just another suburban diner? With no plans to head out of town for the long weekend we decided on a long lazy Sunday lunch with a water view, and after running through the usual suspects decided we needed to try something new, new to us that is, so Sean’s it was.

It is a scruffy place when compared to the slick fit-outs of other places, it all feels a bit home-made. The specials are on little blackboards above the kitchen, a few interesting dishes but at prices that make me nervous: $29 for a starter, getting close to $50 for a main, and a wine list that matches. Big night out prices in a basic café - is this another Sydney “institution” maximising profits based on a past reputation?

At least the staff a friendly and the table has an ocean view. Our waiter runs though the specials board, and I realise this IS the menu, only three or four choices per course and a few that sound quite ordinary. We ask for a recommendation for a bottle of Chardonnay and the waiter works through the whole list, but suggests we try the house wine and sample a glass: it is very good. We order the bread, despite a $4 supplement, it comes with butter and oil: things are looking up, the bread is very good, two types both home-made, the oil is wonderfully aromatic and the butter is amazing.

Maybe time for a reassessment.

The three starters arrive, first some calamari with home-made Harissa, then some asparagus with broad beans and a chunky almond sauce. And finally some amazing pate with toasted chunks from the inside of a sour-dough loaf and onion relish. All three dishes are suburb: the Harissa is zingy and vibrantly fresh; the asparagus is chunky, very fresh, and packed full of flavour; and the pate is possibly the best I have had for years. Good sized portions of ingredient led food very much worth the price.

Onto the mains, cod with a fennel sauce, pasta with sheep’s feta and spinach served with some wonderfully flavourful chunky vegetables. All as good as the starters. We pass on the desserts as we have no room for more food and order coffee. It comes with home made nougat. No room for dessert? We could have eaten buckets of the nougat it was so good.

Sean’s deserves it’s place as a Sydney icon. It is a place that is full of character with the wonderful patina of a old time beach-side restaurant. The food is very good, and for this quality, good value. Often people ask for recommendations for restaurants that offer Australian cooking, or are classic Sydney icons. I think Sean’s is the perfect example for both: fantastic simply cooked ingredients; a menu that spans cuisines and takes influences from many continents; a lovely casual space; and really good friendly service.

I won’t leave it long before I return. Highly recommended.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
Posting Guidelines | FAQs | Feedback
Cancel
  1. Wonderful write-up, it captured my experience there as well perfectly.

    1. Panaroma, not Panorama
      :>)

      3 Replies
      1. re: Onara

        You ae correct. But what is a "Panaroma"....? I know what Panarama means.

        1. re: PhilD

          A play on words?
          pan-a combining form meaning “all,”
          aroma-a distinctive pervasive and usually pleasant or savory smell
          The emanations from the kitchen?

          1. re: wolfe

            correct!

      2. Outstanding report PhilD..
        I so wish the last time I was at Bondi Beach, that I had dined at Sean's..spent all my money at Tet's and Quay.
        I've been dying to try the nougat they are known for..wonder if they sell it on-line to the US?

        4 Replies
        1. re: Beach Chick

          Hey Beach Chick we can't keep meeting on Chowhound like this, last time San Francisco.;-)
          wolfe.

          1. re: wolfe

            LOL..
            Love love love PhilD reviews of my beloved Paris or Sydney..
            Now, if we can get him over to SF!

            1. re: Beach Chick

              Agreed, love his reviews. Keep them coming, PhilD.

              1. re: klyeoh

                Yep, this review by PhilD is a cracker. I have been eating at Sean's for years (used to live next door) and this really captures what is great about the place.