Panama House – Bondi Beach, Sydney

Panama House is a Latin American all-day restaurant and bar overlooking Bondi Beach on Campbell Parade.

It’s a vibrant venue that offers takeaway coffee, all day brunch (complete with bottomless Mimosas, Bloody Mary’s and Micheladas on the weekend), share-plate dinners, and sundowner cocktails on the funky glass balcony that overlooks Bondi Beach.

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Panama House is a true Bondi favourite. The establishment started out on Bondi Road, before moving after five years to considerably larger premises in 180-186 Campbell Parade’s The Pacific building. The new venue has seating room for 125 and has a larger kitchen and better equipment. Best of all, there is the very popular balcony. And, importantly, the even more popular bottomless brunches remain.

See here for our rundown of Bottomless Brunches in Sydney

The menu straddles Australian and Latin American flavours. The name comes from the concept of “gathering cultural identities and ideas and transporting them to new shores – with the Panama Canal being at the centre of those shipping routes between Latin America and Sydney” (Geraint Coles, co-founder)

The restaurant has undeniable style and is a favourite haunt of Sydney’s young, bold and glorious. The South American-styled ‘food of the people’ is simple, flavoursome and looks better on the plate than you would think, considering the basic visual appeal of the originals.

Panama House delivers on the promise: the venue is an a first-rate location and it boasts tasty food and fabulous Margaritas. It is closed on Mondays but Tacos Tuesdays are great. You really can’t go wrong with exceptional Margaritas at only $12 and tacos a bargain at $3 (from 6pm).

Talking of tacos, these are our top Mexican Restaurants in Sydney

It also boasts a quality cocktail menu, one of the best in Sydney. Reimagined classics like Pina Coladas, Alabama Slammers and Blue Hawaiians with contemporary twists and modern spirits. The PH Margarita is awesome, and is said to take nearly three weeks to make. The resident mixologist should be applauded.

Fancy shaking up a few cocktails yourself? See our Easy Cocktail Recipes.

Sadly, Panama House has become another casualty of the pandemic. Despite introducing a takeaway hatch for pickups and DIY takeaway meal kits and other innovative concepts to hang on during the lockdowns (such as launching $99 virtual versions of its beloved bottomless brunches, where live DJ’s streamed direct to your living room and food, booze and delivery was arranged), the owners have pulled the plug on the venture.

To honour its sad demise, we raise a glass and share Panama House’s secret Spicy Margarita cocktail recipe below:

Spicy Margarita Cocktail recipe

Spicy Margarita – particularly perfect for World Margarita Day (22nd February)

Ingredients:

45mls Arette Reposado⁠
15mls Ancho Reyes Verde⁠
5mls Jalapeno Juice⁠
20mls Lime Juice⁠
7.5mls agave syrup⁠
2-3 cilantro leaves⁠


Recipe:⁠
(Juice jalapeños using juicer)⁠

Add all ingredients to shaker⁠
Add ice and shake until chilled ⁠
Rim cocktail glass with habanero salt ⁠
Add large ice cube to cocktail glass ⁠
Double strain cocktail over ice and serve, garnished with jalapeño slice ⁠

Pro tip – Ancho Reyes verde is a liqueur that uses ripe green poblano chillies. It’s earthy and spicy and adds a layer of complexity to the drink, that when you combine with just the slightest note of the cilantro leaves, makes it spicy but really fresh at the same time. Not like other, overly-spicy margaritas that need to use a lot of sugar to balance out.⁠

Enjoy the vibe of a good Wine Bar? Here are our top picks in Sydney.⁠

Dylan Cole
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