Bouche on Bridge, Sydney: Restaurant Review
We’ve been to our fair share of fine dining restaurants, where the menu is complicated, the staff are snobbish and the tastes are just, well, weird.
Bouche on Bridge challenges this stereotype by combining a relaxed, friendly environment with tasty, delicate food.
Sharing plates are Rachel’s favourite (who wouldn’t want to try that many different dishes in a single sitting?!), so donning our Converse shoes and granny jumpers, we looked forward to what we hoped to be a high-quality, delicious meal – without the pretentiousness.
The wine list is vast (courtesy of Head Sommelier Seamus Brandt) and Matt’s eyes nearly popped out of his head when he spotted Gamay on the menu, one of the only places we’ve ever found the grape sold outside of the Alps. Rachel chose a cocktail, the Ananastic: absinthe, fino, pineapple skins and mint.
The food menu is separated into sections: ‘Savour’, ‘Sea’ ‘Land’, ‘Farm’, and ‘Sweet’. We were told that the ‘Savour section’ is more akin to bite-size bar food. For the ravenously hungry, six or more dishes are advised across the menu. We chose five – one from each section.
Our kingfish with beetroot and pomelo was light, the plate so dreamily crafted that we could have kept it on our table as an attractive centre piece (but of course we didn’t because it looked – and tasted – delicious, so lasted all of two minutes).
Before last night, we had never had chicken liver parfait profiteroles before. With a rich, sticky mulberry sauce. This is why we love trying new restaurants.
We know how hard it is to make choux pastry (we’ve watched every series of the Great British Bake Off, and it always ends in tears for one unlucky baker), so we were nodding, impressed, as we gobbled them down, one after another.
The parfait was so smooth, soft and cloud-like, we wouldn’t have minded it if was piped right into our open mouths, to be honest.
Vegetable side dishes (and sometimes mains, for that matter) are often sidelined for the manly, meaty meals. It is always a pleasant surprise to be served a vegetable dish that you waste no time devouring, because it is as interesting and well-seasoned as a meat-based plate.
Our asparagus, duck yolk and grains were crunchy, silky and as good as a standalone dish as it was next to our beef cheek hot pot.
The Landafall Farm beef cheek hot pot is home-cooked comfort food, eaten on a cold winter's day. It was immensely comforting. Salty mash with hearty chunks of cheek are slathered in a deep, dark sauce. The Le Cresuet dish is topped with slices of impossibly thin circles of potato, fashioned into a disc that we almost felt guilty destroying.
It had to be the Ferrero Rochet on steroids, described in the menu as ‘hazelnut, chocolate, malt’. The chocolate ‘soil’ (very on trend) was super crumbly and the chocolate ball was just divine. It is one of Rachel’s favourite chocolate desserts of all time, rivalling Heston Blumenthal’s late Bohemian Cake of Dinner in London.
All members of staff we spoke with were knowledgeable, friendly and seemed genuinely interested in how we found our meal. We learnt about where Bouche on Bridge source their plates, their meat and vegetables – all Australian producers, of course. The music was top notch, a mixture of slow beats, jazz and funk (we’re not fans of the Top 40 being blasted through the speakers, as is common in so many restaurants), and the layout of the restaurant is simple yet elegant.
INTERESTED? Bouche on Bridge is located at No. 6 Bridge Street. It is open Mon – Fri, 12pm til late and Saturday 5pm til late. There is a bar downstairs open Mon – Sat 4pm til late.
We chose five dishes, one glass of wine and one cocktail. The bill came to $128.