Dining reviewer WENDY JOHNSON makes an encore visit to Buvette at Barton to have her socks knocked off!
SIX years ago, I entered Buvette Bistro and Wine Bar, Hotel Realm, for the first time, writing then that the fit-out oozes gorgeous, with beautiful tones, textures and attention to detail. Très chic.
I had been twice at that stage (one visit “sweet” and one visit a tad “sour”).
Fast forward to 2022 and I found myself at Buvette once more, after visiting “Van Gogh Alive”, with a party of six.
It was a glorious and exciting experience on all counts – wine, food, service, ambience.
The menu spans shared plates, charcuterie and cheese, oysters, a grill section, a Wagyu section and desserts. We focused on sharing, always a delightful way to socialise with foodie friends.
We began with the Vanella burrata, a beautiful, soft texture and stunning with gorgeous chunks of smoked heirloom red beet and golden beet dancing about the plate ($22). It’s a visually inspiring dish that sings with the 25 year-old Pedro Ximenez balsamic vinegar.
Next were sensational grilled prawns which exploded with flavour and were another feast for the eyes ($22). We squirted loads of fresh lime on top and loved the Thai chilli butter and prawn oil. The prawns were cooked with skill.
Our meat selections included a mouth-watering lamb shoulder with a garlic and eschalots confit, pomme lyonnaise and a rich, silky braising jus ($65). A very-French-influenced plate, and totally flavour driven. The lamb was succulent and super tender. True sophistication.
There was no way we were going to pass by the Beef Wellington. It was a show-stopper and no doubt an all-time fave for Buvette fans (500 grams $85 and a 25-minute wait, but well worth it). The beef was perfectly pink and easily cut with a fork. It is testimony to Buvette’s devotion to quality produce. The “Buvette butter” added a decadent element and the side salad – fresh and perky – cut through the richness.
The grilled miso broccolini is a must-have side ($9), with its earthy tones and crunchy taste. The fennel salad ($9) was created with a winning combo of ingredients, cucumber, carrot, tangy pomegranate, celery, radicchio. So colourful and inviting, with the sherry vinaigrette balanced “just so”.
Buvette’s wine list is extensive, carefully selective and reveals many secrets for the patient reader. We adored the Cep By Cep Anjou Blanc (2018) from France ($80 bottle).
It was service with a smile all round at Buvette, even though we started a bit later than planned. There was no attempt to rush us out the door, either. Indeed, the staff were delighted that we were so delighted.
I’ll be back, and soon. Perhaps for the signature Lillet Mode De Vie aperitif before making my way to a table to enjoy a chef’s choice plat pour deux. Délicieux.
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