25 May 2012

Sabbaba ~ Israeli - Bondi

Sabbaba in Bondi, the original and the best.

We first tried Sabbaba nearly ten years ago when Shawn experimented with being a night manager at a backpackers hostel on Bondi beach. For three months we lived in a tiny, dark, dingy room and discovered the joys of drunken backpackers and bedbugs. Sabbaba was a a haven, hidden up the road where pommy travellers never ventured in fear of fresh vegetables.

Bondi Sabbaba was renovated some time ago and lost some of it's original low rent beach charm, but it's still a nice place to hang out, and it still gets a buzzy international crowd in summer.

We were ecstatic when Sabbaba opened a branch on our home turf in Newtown. It's good, very good, but we reckon the original Bondi shop is just that bit better, the pita rolls are gloopier with more sauce and the felafels have that extra crunch. Or maybe it's just our rose coloured nostalgia glasses.

Alison whines about the Newtown store not having her favourite filling, the Jerusalem mix, an offal affair of chicken giblets, livers and hearts. She also reckons the original store packs more pickles in the pita pockets, but she has trouble saying it.

Felafels made fresh to order are fantastic, warm and crunchy, moist in the middle.

Shawn's fave is the plain old regular falafel pita roll, number one on the menu with crunchy falafels, salad and pickles with loads of sauce. Is it as good as ten years ago? Who knows, we've lost a lot of brain cells in that time. In the name of thoroughness we went back to the Newtown store for a Sabbaba roll, and it was almost as good as the Bondi, almost.

On nighttime visit last year we went for the Avia Napa - basil pesto flavoured crunchy felafel balls with pickles and salad.

Alison reckons the Bondi store is worth the trip alone for the Jerusalem mix and to see what you're missing at the chain store versions.  In summer you can sit outside and enjoy the ocean breeze and perhaps spot a model or out of work actor or three.

Sabbaba is at 82 Hall St, Bondi Beach. Ph02 9365 7500.

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  1. Sad - I was getting excited when you mentioned one in Newtown, since I don't get out Bondi way often... but maybe I'll have to take a trip out one day.

    1. The Newtown one is still fantastic, I had a pita roll there the day after we returned to Bondi just to make sure.

    2. ps - if you tried the Newtown store first you may prefer it over the Bondi one :-)

  2. I do like the store in Newtown...not having been to the Bondi one...I don't look good in a bikini...best to stay away from the seaside.

  3. So wierd - 10 minutes after reading this page my girl suggested we go to Savion for felafel. I know they're closed on Saturdays so suggested Sababa .... had 2 felafel rolls...great roll only slghtly let down by too much tahini dressing. the actual bread itself is super yummy...think next time i'll pick my own selections. Still rate Savion way better though

  4. We walked by Savion the other day, looked in the kitchen and the kitchen folks gave us a big wave and a smile, we'll be heading there soon. The extra dressing on the rolls at Sabbaba is our favourite part :-)


Thanks for your comment joy - please keep your musings happy - if you want to complain about a restaurant please do it on a restaurant review site (or your own blog) - we're all about celebrating cultural diversity and the great eats that come along with it :-)

Our ethics: We pay for all our own meals and travel (though sometimes Mum shouts us).