Matthew Sen and his partners in Bondi Trattoria have been operating in Bondi for over 20 years now and you can’t survive that long unless you’re doing something right.
When Matthew first opened Bondi Trat in 1987,it was with his two brothers in North Bondi where Nina’s Ploy Thai is now located.
Matthew said “he didn’t know how popular Bondi would become he was just after a opportunity to open his own business and grow it over the years, and we served basic Italian food for a good price.”
In 1991 Bondi Trattoria moved to its current location 34 Campbell Parade, with a North facing view over Bondi beach.
They were one of the few with outside seating as ridicules as that sounds now it’s true, also that there were six cafes open for breaky now there’s forty six.
When someone has run a successful restaurant for so many years you know they have a good insight into the area and their customers so StreetCorner asked Matthew what were some of the factors that kept Bondi Trat so popular for so long?
Matthew said” we have never courted the press for reviews as we look after local residents, that’s our market” He continued “we know our place in the community and we have a strong sense of community and maintaining a reputation relies on consistency” Bondi Trattoria has never done any print advertising and relies solely on word of mouth and its reputation for its continuing success.
Four years ago Matthew was fortunate to gain a new partner Andy Davies Chef from another locals favourite Sports Bar. Matthew acknowledged that Andy had lifted the bar when he came on board. Andy’s signature dish Angel hair pasta with raw tuna is always popular with the locals.
What has changed in 20 years Matthew? “Well the biggest has to be the sewage outfall, that meant as the water improved so did the Bondi as people not only came here on weekends. The demographic has changed to a younger crowd who want to have the beach and be able to get to work in thirty minutes. The Bondi Markets have been a great draw card for the area and really brought a great vibe and crowd with them. Bondi is now more of a 365 days year proposition than it was 20 years ago.”
Any tips for people looking to get into the restaurant game? Matthew “for every site there’s a concept, you need the right formula for each site” he continued “consistency and accessibility people can come up from the beach in shorts and thongs for lunch and then at night frock it up”.
Matthew also is a partner in Barzura in Coogee which is celebrating fifteen years and has just had a make over.
At Bondi Trattoria you have owners working in the restaurant and amazing staff who have been with him for years one of guys for 14 years, you have to trust and look after your staff, as they are the ones looking after our customers.
Bondi Trattoria is open 7 days a week from 7.00am till late Phone : 02- 9365 4303