Bivouac – I had been for drinks there with work friends a few weeks ago, and had been disappointed I had to leave for other dinner plans as the menu there looks ah-mazing! Since this night I have been craving to go back, and last night was finally the night for it! O and I headed over after I escaped from yet another 2 and a half hour meeting at work on a Friday afternoon. It was early, only about 5.30 and it was pretty quiet, with only a couple tables filled.
We got seated by one of the nicest waitresses I have ever met – she was super friendly and promptly took our drinks order and told us about the ‘secret’, that being the special of the day. It was a lamb fillet with hummus which sounded delicious, but unfortunately O is allergic to lentils and chickpeas so that was off the menu for us. A few things on the menu had chickpeas in them, so we let the waitress know about our allergies and she was very helpful in pointing out what we could and couldn’t eat on the menu.
In the end we decided to share the dukkah crumbed local whiting fillets, rocket, freekah & sour grape salad, citrus & champagne vinegar dressing ($34), chipotle spiced lamb backstrap, spanish slaw, coriander & lime dressing ($33) and spiced cauliflower stalks, sumac labneh ($13) on the side. Other options that looked enticing included the beef cheeks with chickpea cake, the baked gnocchi, mushroom & thyme ragu, taleggio and truffle cream, and the mezze board with grilled haloumi, fig and fennel, spiced olives, muhammara dip, cornichons, toasted turkish, but alas there is only a certain amount of food that is socially acceptable to order. I will have to go back without O to sample all the chickpea delights they have on offer!
Anyway, I had heard a lot about the cauliflower stalks from a work mate, and I was super excited about them and all the other food we had chosen. I also ordered a pinot noir (the usual) and O ordered Lick Pier ginger beer which was DELICIOUS!
We sipped away on our drinks, and the restaurant continued to fill up around us, by the time our food came out it was probably about 3/4 full, and people were steadily streaming in. Our food came out after about 20 minutes, and you couldn’t fault it.
I am not a big fan of seafood, but the Whiting had a nice mild flavour, and the dukkah had a full flavour to it. The salad was fresh and tangy, and very pretty with little flowers through it
The lamb was cooked perfectly, pink and tender through the middle and nicely charred on the outside. The spanish slaw complemented it well, and again it was very refreshing.
The famed cauliflower stems! The labneh (strained yoghurt) was creamy and so full of flavour, all politeness went out the window as O and I vied for the last few pieces of cauliflower.
As the waitress dropped by the pick up our plates we asked for a dessert menu. Another dish that I had been hearing a lot about was the stout and pumpernickel bread & butter pudding with salted caramel ice cream. I am not sure if I would have been my first choice if it hadn’t been recommended to me, I fancied the orange blossom & yoghurt pannacotta with broken baklava and pistachio but I was ready to put my trust in the pudding. O ordered the chocolate & cardamom tart with turkish delight and pashmak, and this was definitely the best looking dessert that came out
I wasn’t sure what pashmak was and I was pleasantly surprised when it turned out to be type of persian fairy floss. And of course it made for a good photo.
At this point O made me stop taking photos so he could eat some dessert. The bread and butter pudding absolutely blew me away when I tasted it. Salty icecream and slightly sweet pudding, the icecream set off the heavy taste of stout and pumpernickel. This was absolutely everything I could ask for in a dessert. The chocolate tart was full of delicious flavours as well, but my tastebuds were devoted to the pudding.
Bivouac easily put itself in the running to be one of my favourite places to eat. Cosy, incredibly friendly service and some seriously tasty food with stylish presentation. It got pretty busy on Friday night, and by the time we left people were waiting outside the door. Get down there early if you want to nab a seat right away.