Bondi's speakeasy-style rum bar also offers great eats
Enter the Rum Diaries and you may be mistaken in thinking this is a serious and low-key bar. The deeply dark wooden wall panels and floorboards, the re-fashioned primary school desks and the heavy alter-like timber bar give that impression. But you’d be mistaken – there’s something really exciting going on here. The service is spritely and informative, the cocktails well-balanced and prepared with a deft touch, and the food very well executed. Smokers also get a little love, with big comfy chairs and heaters set up out the front for a long night of drinks and conversation. As you’d expect, there’s a heap of rum cocktails on the list – both old and new school styles, sometimes even a mix of both. The Cuba Libre, with coke, lime and Bacardi Blanco, is given a lift by the inclusion of a lime ice sphere (sphere ice!). The Hemingway Special does the man it’s named after proud. Crisp, icy and deliciously balanced, you may have to fight hard not to get tight (that's Hemingway’s word for getting drunk. We're nicking it). If you’re not into rum that’s cool too - there are plenty of other drinks to keep you occupied, along with a stack of mid-priced wines and beers. The food menu is eclectic and surprisingly modern in its execution – taking you from bulgar wheat arancini with carrot hummus, to kingfish ceviche with grapefruit mojito gel and crisp white radish, and then onto slow roast lamb with tomato tarte tatin, zucchini ribbons and black olive oil. Take a couple friends and settle in for the night.