Away from the main drag the refined yet comfortable space is the epitome of a neighbourhood bistro; it’s Mediterranean-leaning in both its menu and community feel. More recent additions to the menu include Bondi non-negotiables such as milk alternatives, and family-made fermented veggies, but some dishes have not – and will not – come off the menu.
For breakfast there’s the sourdough buttermilk pancakes, and for all-day brunch a generous breakfast platter (involving house-made labneh) designed for sharing. Go for the fish pie for lunch or dinner (there would be uproar from regulars if it ever disappeared), or a big bowl of mussels served with sourdough. There’s also slow-braised lamb shoulder garnished according to season, and pasta with crab from the shell. As for vino, a long-standing relationship with McLaren Vale’s Rockford Wines means its Basket Press is always available. There’s a quality kids menu too.
Brown Sugar is for everyone: sandy backpackers coming from the beach in thongs, families with young ones in tow, couples dressed up for a special occasion (or just because) and the odd celebrity.
Regardless of who you’re with (or what you’re wearing), sit around the inside timber communal table or on the street – beneath heaters in winter – for al fresco dining. Or book the whole place out for a private function – there have been more than a few engagement parties born out of first dates at Brown Sugar.