Located a floor or two above the compact Wollongong Harbour, Bombora can mean different things to various people. To me it is a fish grill place, close to the supply source, in tune with Nature and sited to provide customers with sweeping panoramic views of both ocean and escarpment. To some others, who may not be so used to self service, it can be an experience collecting your own cutlery, drinking water, napkins and plates. Yet to many others it is a casual relaxed joint that epitomises the Aussie beach side lifestyle and to soak in the sun and sea as well. Vehicle parking can be rather limited on summery days. There is selection of drinks in the fridge but you can have your coffee, smoothies, organic teas, Aussie beers, cocktails, iced and other specially freshly made drink delights as well. Yes, staff only serve you coffee at the very least but they get a chance to really work and cook where it counts - in the kitchen. The wine list choice can be extensive, with equal emphasis on both reds and whites.
Open seven days per week for a long time now, I first tasted Bombora menu when it was only a daytime affair. Classic Aussie fish and chips? You can have them here. Planning an intimate dinner? They are open till late. Popular with locals and tourists alike, they can stroll along the Belmore Basin or go surfing between meals. Bombora has a unique early bird arrangement for its customers - a two or three course meal combo of various seafoods, my favs being the Asian marinated chargrilled prawns, Massaman curry lamb shank and the pear and rhubarb crumble. I frequented Bombora years ago not so much for its breakfasts, but the early morning menu remains simple, effective and refreshing. Examples of unique items are salmon cakes, char grilled polenta and Captain Sparrow (coconut pancakes with salted caramel rum sauce, topped with cream and walnuts).
The floor plan seating consists of inside and outside, looking informal and relaxed. For lunch and dinner, a good suggestion is to try the cob loaf, especially when you have more than a couple at the table. Olive and rosemary flavoured bread is baked and served with both hazelnut and balsamic butter choices. The bruschetta is ideal, with a rich offering of marinated prawns,avocado, salmon pate and fresh smoked salmon. My heart for Bombora still remains in fish like barramundi, snapper and Atlantic salmon, but do look at the Pacific oysters and the flat head fillets. A family may opt for the sizzling prawn hot pot, with wedges of olive and rosemary cob bread on the sides. For an Asian based mains, try the sautéed seafood bounty for mains, with lots of finger licking sauce covering delights of squid, prawns, scallops and mussels. Non seafood lovers may ask me to stop now and excuse themselves, but Bombora also has chicken and beef offerings, albeit in a limited way. Pasta, risotto, sandwiches and salads are also available - the best being the Thai beef salad and the Vietnamese prawn salad. Kids can have a variety accompanied by chips.