Onda – The Overview…
You’ll find Onda on Richmond’s busy Bridge Road. Chilled and funky, it’s a great little casual eatery and cocktail bar, serving modern Latin cuisine.
Food: Mozarella Chippa puffs, Smoked Beef Short Rib, Kingfish Ceviche, House Cured Ocean Trout Ceviche, Black Sesame and Chocolate Cigars
Despite its small size, Onda is well set up to cater for parties of 4 or more with a series of large booths down the centre and a long row of tables which can be grouped accordingly. The feel inside is almost like a bar in a glamorous hotel -it’s both suave, yet vintage. The blue suede seating pulls the eye and is a great focal point, while the pop print walls give the space its own distinctive style.
The menu is split into snacks, small plates and large plates – with dishes designed to be shared. We started with the Mozarella Chippa puffs with dark mole and mole aioli from the snacks section. These little airy bites of flaky cheesy goodness are a great way to start your meal. Topped with just a little truffle oil they’re gorgeous enjoyed alone, however dipping in the mole will add a lovely spice to this dish. As well as great starts to your meal, this first section of the menu offers some perfect choices to enjoy alongside a few cocktails.
We then moved on to the ceviche – a house speciality. We tried both the kingfish and the trout. The trout in particular looks fine dining quality when it arrives at the table. Of the two the kingfish had the edge for me tastewise. I loved how the finger lime just popped on the tongue and the soft tanginess against the gentle flavour of the fish. I’m a huge kingfish fan though, enjoying the lightness of the fish and the soft flavour with that final punch at the end of each bite.
The trout is also an excellent dish. I actually don’t think there’s such a thing as average ceviche – it’s such a simple yet delicate balance that it’s either amazing or ruined. Pair the trout with a bitesized piece of the puffed rice and hemp seed crisp bread, add a dab of the mole and you’ll get a heavenly mouthful with so many flavours running across your tongue. As with everything at Onda, it’s clever, it’s different. What makes the dishes unique here are the combinations of flavours and ingredients. While the South American influence is clear, the dishes bring in local Aussie produce and put those flavours together in ways we’ve not seen before.
From the larger plates we tried the beef short rib. This beautiful chunky meat just fell off the bone, but again the whole construction of this dish is what made it wow. The sour pickled beetroot, soft monfongo (fried, mashed plantain) and crispy beef fat croutons all just add extra texture and flavours making a well-versed dish fresh and interesting.
Finally we sampled the chocolate and sesame cigars. The theatrics behind these alone make them a great dish and we loved the clever presentation. The cigars themselves are a crisp, brandy snap style biscuit surrounding a creamy dulce de leche and banana mousse. It’s clever, and a nice sweet bite to end your meal with.
Address: 280 Bridge Road, Richmond
Tue 5pm to 10:30pm
Wed 5pm to 10:30pm
Thu 5pm to 10:30pm
Fri 12pm to 10:30pm
Sat 12pm to 10:30pm
Sun 12pm to 10pm
Parking: Despite being on busy Bridge Road, we found a parking space on a side street just across the road. Most spaces are 2P or less, but there are definitely a number of them nearby.
Getting here on PT: The 48, 75 and 78 trams all stop a couple of minutes walk away. Alight at Church Street/Bridge Road.
Disclaimer: We dined as guests of Onda, Richmond. Reviews are honest and based on our own personal experiences. We cannot guarantee things at a cafe won’t change including, but not limited to, menu items and opening hours, so please confirm any details with the venue before visiting.