As we entered Buvette Bistro & Wine Bar through the stunning Hotel Realm foyer our senses were heightened as the aromatic smells from the kitchen wafted towards us.The entrance to Buvette is just as impressive at the Hotel’s foyer. It’s big, bold and sophisticated. On one side is the entrance to Buvette and on the other side is the entrance to Ostana Bar & Restaurant – offering European flair with traditional oven fired pizzas and tapas. It was buzzing with people enjoying good food and drink in a stunning setting.
We were met at the entry by one of the wait staff and promptly seated at our table. Buvette’s dining area is quite large and spacious. The décor is inspired by its French bistro theme with tiny white tiles covering the floor and a black and white colour sheme throughout. We were seated with a view of the kitchen and could see the chefs place the plates of food on the bench ready to be taken to awaiting diners.
The menu is small but satisfying, and is full of dishes that make it hard to choose from. I wanted everything! As we deliberated over the menu I kicked the night off with one of Buvette’s signature cocktails, Lillet Mode De Vie – a vigorous shake of Lillet Blanc, Violet liqueur, Pineapple, Lavender and winerose bitters. It was a little bit dry and a little sweet – the best of both worlds. I could have easily defeated another three or four…
By this time I had narrowed down by choices for entrée to four (I told you I wanted everything). I was tossing up between the Duck Rillettes, Fresh Fig and Jamon Salad, Baked Beetroot Terrine and the Salad Nicoise. I asked the waiter for some advice and decided on the Salad Nicoise for a light but substantial start to the meal. Mr Eat Canberra made his choice quickly and had his heart set on the Asparagus Mimosa. He’s a big fan of asparagus!
As we waited for our meal we watched diners continue to enter the restaurants. We happily sipped on our drinks and enjoyed the ambience. We were given some fresh bread and butter and as meals started to exit the kitchen we got a glimpse of the plated food. We were excited for the experience ahead. Jazz music was playing softly in the background and the atmosphere in the restaurant was calm and relaxed.
We were soon presented with our stunning entrees. The simplicity and freshness of the dishes were stunning and we knew we’d made the right choices. My Salad Nicoise was light and fresh with bursts of flavour from the fresh anchovies. It was balanced beautifully with a combination of textures from the soft quail egg, crispy green beans, crunchy lettuce, delicate squares of kifler potatoes and perfectly seared fresh Yellow Fin Tuna. Mr Eat Canberra was also satisfied with his Aspasagus Mimosa that was topped with a flawlessly poached egg.
Our plates were quickly cleared and we ordered a glass of red to go with out hearty main meals. The arrival of our mains was perfectly timed and we were wowed at what was placed in front of us.
I couldn’t go past the Beef Bourguignon – wagyu tri-tip, smoked pork belly, carrots, swiss brown mushrooms and spring onions. It was divine! My tastebuds were performing a happy dance as the tender wagyu melted in my mouth and all the other elements were married together in perfect unison. Mr Eat Canberra was experiencing the same as what I was and was raving about his slow cooked lamb shoulder with confit lamb belly, goat curd, carrot puree, garlic confit, spring onions and jus. I tried some of his and instantly understood what he was fussing about. It was perfection! Our meals were accompanied with two sides of chargrilled cauliflower with fried beans and pumpkin and the pomme puree. It was the best pomme puree I have ever eaten and by this point Mr Eat Canberra had told me numerous times that I needed to up my game in the kitchen – thanks Buvette!
Our meals were big and very filling. I would recommend one side between two if you choose a main meal unless you go with something from the grill then two sides would be a good choice.
Although we were starting to feel full our dessert belly perked up and we couldn’t resist the temptation. Again, we were spoilt for choice. The waitress recommended the crispy apple tart with house made vanilla ice cream and salted caramel sauce. I went with her suggestion and Mr Eat Canberra’s love for dark chocolate lured him towards the chocolate assiette 3 ways.
The final course of the evening was again presented elegantly and we couldn’t wait to taste the sweet creations that sat in front of us. Mr Eat Canberra loved his plate of chocolate heaven that consisted of chocolate tart, chocolate soil, chocolate mouse, chocolate caramel, a macaron and raspberry sorbet. My apple tart was tasty and the pastry was light and delicate but I would have liked a little less apple and a little more pastry. That’s just my personal preference!
After we finished our feast we sat for a little while longer finishing our drinks and chatting before realising we had been there for almost three hours! It went so quickly and we had no idea – that’s always a sign of a good night.
The service was fantastic, the food was divine and the location, décor and atmosphere was impressive and sophisticated. If you’re looking to impress your date, colleagues, family or friends then Buvette is definitely a place to take them. I can’t wait to go back and try more from the menu! The bouillabaisse and the twice baked cheese souffle are on my list… Who am I kidding? I want to try it all!
Eat Canberra was invited to dine at Buvette as a guest. All opinions are the author’s own.