A long lunch at Bondi’s Lola’s Italian & Bar.

Lola's Italian & Bar
(c) Craig W | Lola's Italian & Bar

Located in the vibrant Bondi Beach area, Lola’s Italian & Bar offers a delightful dining experience with its stunning beachfront view and lively atmosphere. I recently visited this restaurant on a Sunday afternoon for a long lunch, and I was thoroughly impressed by the festive ambience, with large tables filled with people celebrating birthdays and enjoying the company of friends.

To start off, my friend and I indulged in some expertly crafted cocktails. The Rosita Negroni with tequila, vermouth bianco e rosso, and Campari was a sophisticated and well-balanced choice, while the Rum Sour Cocktail offered a refreshing twist on a classic. These cocktails set the tone for an exciting lunch experience ahead.

The appetizers at Lola’s were a true delight. The Anchovies with basil and salsa verde provided a burst of flavour that perfectly complemented the freshness of the fish. The Burrata with fennel apricot, dill, and black olive was a luscious combination of creamy cheese and vibrant ingredients, resulting in a harmonious dish. Accompanying these appetizers was the Antonio Caggiano ‘FiaGre’ Campania Bianco 2021, a white wine that perfectly complements the appetizers. On the nose, it offers a refreshing bouquet of tropical fruits, such as pineapple and passion fruit, mingled with subtle floral notes. The palate is crisp and lively, with vibrant flavours of citrus, green apple, and a hint of minerality. The wine’s balanced acidity adds a pleasant zing, while the finish is clean and lingering, leaving a desire for another sip. It pairs wonderfully with seafood dishes.

Moving on to the entree, the Pesce Crudo with tuna, preserved lemon, and dill, showcased the chef’s talent in highlighting the delicate flavours of the raw fish. The Octopus alla amatriciana was a standout dish, perfectly tender and infused with rich and smoky notes. Pairing these dishes was the Cantina Giba Cagliari Vermentino Superiore 2019. This Vermentino displays a brilliant straw-yellow colour in the glass. On the nose, it exudes inviting aromas of ripe peaches, pear, and Mediterranean herbs, with a touch of salinity. The palate offers a crisp and lively experience, with flavours of citrus fruits, white peach, and a hint of almond. The wine’s medium body and well-integrated acidity provide a pleasant mouthfeel, leading to a satisfying and refreshing finish.

The Pici Truffle, a special of the day, was a true indulgence. The rich and earthy truffle flavour enveloped the homemade pasta, creating a truly decadent experience. Accompanying this dish was the Cotoletta Milanese, a classic Italian staple prepared to perfection. The Leaf Salad with formaggio added a refreshing contrast to the hearty main courses. We paired these dishes with the bold and robust Barolo e Barbaresco from Produttori del Barbaresco, as well as the Kala Salento Primitivo Rosso.

The Barolo e Barbaresco from Produttori del Barbaresco is an excellent choice to accompany the rich and flavourful Pici truffle and Cotoletta Milanese at Lola’s. This red wine showcases a deep garnet colour with aromas of ripe red berries, dried flowers, and hints of earthiness. On the palate, it is full-bodied and elegant, with flavours of red cherries, plums, and subtle spice notes.

The Kala Salento Primitivo Rosso is a bold and robust red wine that pairs exceptionally well, wine displays a deep ruby colour in the glass, inviting anticipation. On the nose, it offers enticing aromas of blackberries, dark cherries, and a touch of vanilla. The palate is full-bodied and velvety, with intense flavours of ripe black fruits, hints of chocolate, and a touch of spice.

No Italian meal is complete without dessert. The Tiramisu, a timeless classic, was creamy, perfectly balanced, and left me craving for more. The Polenta and Hazelnut Cake with orange curd, a special of the day, showcased the creativity and skill of the pastry team. To accompany these sweet delights, W eenjoyed the Nonino il merlot di grappa and the Amaro Montenegro, both of which offered a pleasant and satisfying end to the meal.

Nonino il merlot di grappa, made from the pomace of Merlot grapes, showcases a deep amber colour in the glass. On the nose, it releases intense and inviting aromas of ripe red fruits, such as cherries and plums, accompanied by delicate floral undertones. The palate is rich and velvety, with flavours of dried fruits, dark chocolate, and a subtle hint of vanilla. The spirit’s smooth and silky texture coats the mouth, while the long and warming finish leaves a lingering sweetness.

Amaro Montenegro is a well-known Italian herbal liqueur that delivers a harmonious blend of flavours and a balanced bittersweet profile. It presents a deep amber colour in the glass, captivating the eye. On the nose, it exudes a complex bouquet of herbs, spices, and citrus peels, with hints of dried fruits and aromatic botanicals. The palate offers a delightful interplay between sweetness and bitterness, with flavours of orange zest, gentian root, star anise, and a touch of caramel. The liqueur’s velvety texture and medium body provide a satisfying mouthfeel, while the finish is smooth and lingering, leaving a pleasant herbal aftertaste. Amaro Montenegro is a versatile digestif that can be enjoyed neat.

Overall, Lola’s Italian & Bar at Bondi Beach offers a remarkable dining experience. With its breathtaking view of the beach, lively atmosphere, and a menu that combines traditional Italian flavours with innovative twists, it truly stands out. The impeccable service and knowledgeable staff further enhance the experience, ensuring that each visit to Lola’s is memorable. Whether you’re looking for a relaxed lunch or a celebratory dinner, Lola’s Italian & Bar is the place to be.

Lola’s Italian & Bar
Level 1, 180-186 Campbell Parade, Bondi Beach NSW 2026, Australia.
T: +61 2 8355 1451 | E: bookings@lolasitalianandbar.com.au | Book Online
Monday-Thursday: 5pm until late
Friday-Sunday: 12pm until late