Rhonda’s Bar Terrigal- Modern Italian Dining on the Central Coast
Once a late-night bar that also served food, Rhonda’s Bar as the owner puts it ‘grew up’. After a recent trip to Europe, they were inspired to create a new experience on the Central Coast that served authentic Italian cuisine whilst still offering a place to drink on the weekends!
Located on the Central Coast of NSW, approximately a 90-minute drive from Sydney, Terrigal is a popular holiday or weekend destination for Sydney-siders. The dining scene at Terrigal has recently been given a breath of fresh air (with more to come) with the relaunch of Rhonda’s Bar becoming a modern Italian dining experience.
The relaunched venue is a joint venture between Ty Van Emden and Scott Bayley and Head Chef Richard Wagemaker. Their vision is to bring a relaxed dining experience with Italian-inspired cocktails and food to the Central Coast, somewhere for families to come along or friends to sip wine over a long lunch. If you are after a great Italian restaurant on the Central Coast you need to dine at Rhonda’s Bar!
The Space at Rhonda’s Bar
The fresh new look has been the project of local interior designer Kazzi.D who has visioned an inviting space with a light colour palette, timber finishes and an array of lush greeny. The venue embraces a light colour scheme with white and teal, upstairs seating and a rooftop giving it a year-round summer vibe.
As you walk in you are immediately greeted by the bar, showcasing a range of exotic spirits and liquors. The kitchen has an Italian built wood-fired rotary oven and the central location allows diners to take a peek as their fresh baked pizzas are made to perfection!
Guests have the options of dining downstairs at the bar and restaurant or experiencing the new rooftop alfresco space upstairs which is an ideal spot for sundowners.
As soon as you step inside, you will be blown away by the ambience and decor. The interior was spacious with interesting light fixtures, exposed brick walls, wooden textures and pops of colours.
Cocktails at Rhonda’s Bar
We started by ordering drinks, the new and innovative cocktail menu left us excited but also spoilt for choice.
It is always hard for me to go past a classic espresso martini so we settled on that as well as the Ucello.
HOME ESPRESSO – Skyy Vodka | Mr Black Coffee Liqueur Espresso | Vanilla | Mole Bitters
I can honestly say this one of the BEST espresso martinis I have ever had. I thought there was a chance I just got super lucky but alas I have been back and tried 3 more ( to be certain you see) and yep they were all absolute perfection in a martini glass. Kudos to you Rhonda’s Bar.
UCELLO – Plantation 3 Stars Rum | Rinomato Americano | Bitters | Grapefruit
An excellent summer drink that is very refreshing with fresh fruity citrus flavours and sour notes thanks to the bitters.
Starters at Rhonda’s Bar
After our drinks, the bar had been set and we could tell we were in for a real treat!
For the Starters, it was hard to go past the classic Italian bruschetta. Tomatoes, black olives, parsley and capers mix sit on top of garlic-rubbed freshly toasted bread. A strong textural starter with fresh tomatoes and lots of salty notes.
We also ordered the King Prawns that were recommended by the waiter. Four large prawns are split in half and drenched in delicious flavours of chilli, garlic lemon and thyme. The market fresh prawns are cooked to just opaque so meat retains its texture and flavour which is then enhanced by the heat of the chilli. We definitely could have demolished another plate or two.
Mains at Rhonda’s Bar
Okay now onto the big dogs! The mouthwatering pizza! Roman-style pizza to be exact thanks to their built-in wood fire oven! Their traditional pizza dough is hand stretched resulting in a very thin and light base. The pizza dough is made using 5 Stagioni wholemeal flour which is high in protein and milled by granite grindstones which reduces the stress on the grain, and the dough is then left for 48 hours to proof.
They offer a range of toppings on both red and white bases.
We choose the De Funghi Pizza. A vegetarian white base pizza that is big on flavours! It has porcini, buffalo mozzarella, button mushrooms, zucchini, truffle oil, pecorino and rocket. Best bit? Take away is available for these babies!
Okay now for the pièce de résistance. Get. The. Crab. Commit to ordering the delectable squid ink fettuccine with blue swimmer crab whilst you are still reading this! Rhonda’s Bar really outdid themselves on this dish. I hope it never goes off the menu!
The buttery sweet meat is rich and flaked throughout the silky squid ink handmade pasta. Hidden tender scallops are brought to life with the zestiness of lime and subtle parsley notes which all comes together with a generous splash of olive oil. The dish packs a lot of flavour with chilli, garlic, cherry tomato and basil.
We fought each other for the last bite. And fought ourselves to not lick the plate.
This, my friends, was hands down the BEST pasta dish I’ve had in my life. And yes I have been to Italy….
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