Here at Panama House you won't find run-of-the-mill bacon and eggs for breakfast, so prepare yourself for some exotic eating to start your day. The oven baked corn fritters are served with bacon, poached eggs and generously dressed with home made salsa. They were good, but I had buyers remorse when I was watching the Huevos Rancheros and Breakfast Tacos being served around me. But I was extremely impressed when I tasted the corned beef hash. A plump potato rosti filled with flakes of beef served with buttered spinach, a poached egg and chipotle hollandaise drizzled on top. I can assure you it tasted as good as it sounds, but you better savour every bite because it isn't going to satisfy the piggiest pigs.
The food gets better as the day goes on. On my night time visit I started with the pulled pork pull boy sandwich, tender shredded pork on a soft sesame bun that melts in your mouth, I regret agreeing to sharing it. The spicy tomato soup with tortilla flakes was a great way to start the meal too. The mains are classic American comfort food - fried chicken with corn bread and hanger steak served with onion rings both tasty but no competition against that pork pull boy! All meals are accompanied by four homemade salsas - jalapeno, pineapple, tomato and chill. So, you can spice any meal up, or down, or however you like it. Panama House is definitely not suitable for those trying to shed a winter coat so prepare yourself!
The service is friendly and relaxed, just like the atmosphere. The exposed brick, white tiles, pendant lighting and brass detailing transforms from a light, airy cafe during the day to a dim-lit date spot at night. The narrow space works well with small tables running along one side, and seating at the bar on the other. Word on the street is they will be opening up the back court yard this summer for Sunday sessions and someone there to serenade you!
If this place is an accurate depiction what it is like to eat in Panama, I need to book myself a ticket!
The Bitter: Although the service is efficient and friendly, at times they seemed a little frazzled.
The Sweet: Finally a good Bondi Rd breakfast! Oh, and that pulled pig po boy!
The Damage: Moderate. A drink and meal at breakfast will cost you about $25. A dinner with all the trimmings and wine about $60.
Panama House - 251 Bondi Rd, Bondi NSW - www.panamahouse.com.au