When The Food Avenue asked me where I wanted to meet up for a catch up dinner, I suggested Buvette the newly opened French bistro inside Hotel Realm in Barton. I didn’t really check out their main menu but I knew what dessert caught my eye.
The dining area is a big open area but the tables are arranged for more of an intimate setting. It appears I have taken zero photos of the dining space, only photos of food.Complimentary~
House bread and butter. I really loved this bread, it was soft and springy while the crust wasn’t too chewy and tough to rip through.Appetisers~
Croquettes chicken and chorizo (3 pieces $12.00). The outside crumb was perfectly crisp and hot but the size of the croquettes did catch me a little off guard. The filling was okay but I was hoping for a more solid centre.
Escargot a la bourguignonne snails cooked in garlic, herb butter (12 pieces $20.00). Being in a French restaurant, we thought it was only fitting that we ordered the escargots for our appetisers. Some snails were really hard to get out of the shell and the waiter then provided us with toothpicks to dig them out. We felt very refined as we sat there digging through the snail shell for our food with a toothpick. TimmyC came across a stubborn one that refused to come out and with the awkward bend of the shell it was really hard to poke at. Finally it was MacGyver boyfriend who saved the day and I eventually got a cold snail to eat. The sauce was nice but if you minus the novelty of eating escargots in a French restaurant, it really wasn’t worth ordering.
Grill~ served with pomme frites, mixed leaf salad and a choice of sauce.
Scotch fillet with a truffle butter sauce ($38.00). Not an overly memorable steak with warm shoe string fries and truffle butter that eventually melted. I think Chifley’s has ruined me for other steaks.To share~
Chateaubriand 600g grass fed eye fillet carved and served on a timber board accompanied with a mixed green salad (not pictured), onion rings and truffle butter ($66.00). This wasn’t my main but the steak looked too rare even for my liking even though it was ordered “medium rare”. p.s. this is not a timber board.Mains~
Beef bourguignon wagyu tri-tip, carrots, onion bulbs, shemeji mushrooms ($33.00). I really enjoyed this main over TimmyC’s steak. The beef was very tender, there was a nice variety of vegetables and the beef broth had a very rich flavour. I wish it came on a bed of mash potato or a side of pasta, a bland carb to help dilute such a strong stew.
Desserts~ (all $17.00).
Chocolate assiette 3 ways chocolate tart 71% from Ecuador, Chocolate mousse 64% from Peru, Chocolate caramel and pistachio cake and cherry sorbet.Vanilla creme brulee fresh berries, cat’s tongue biscuits. This was so unbelievably eggy, like ridiculously eggy with zero vanilla taste. Even though the texture was very smooth and the serving was very generous, I could not finish it because of its disappointing eggy-no vanilla- taste.
You couldn’t tell because of the photo and the angle but this was the dish was the size of an entrée soup. If it had been really good, I would have happily finished it all.Crispy apple tart house-made vanilla ice cream, salted caramel. If this had sticky caramelised sugar over the apples or some extra sweetness in the pastry, it would have been perfect but I felt that it was missing something. It’s a shame because this was the dessert that made me choose this restaurant!Overall, we shared the same views about Buvette; I wouldn’t call it a ‘French’ restaurant/bistro just because of some key dishes, it was very over priced for what it is (we spend just over $60 pp for shared appetisers, main and dessert with no drinks) and we didn’t really enjoyed the food all that much. I hope that they will improve in the future but for now we are not keen to return.
Address: Hotel Realm, 18 National cct, Barton, ACT
Phone: (02) 6163 1818
Mon-Sun — 6:30am–10:30am
Tue-Fri — 12:00pm–3:00pm
Tue-Fri — 11:00am–6:00pm
Tue-Sat — 6:00pm–10:30pm