MELBOURNE | Brunswick East is in a constant state of flux these days. Our offices are in the area and we’ve been amazed at the changes occuring on Lygon Street every time we take a walk. Early last year, when we saw an old shop make way for a boarded up frontage with a Liquor Licence application, we were excited to see what would happen. The answer is Bouvier, the latest venture by Adrian Richardson (La Luna Bistro). So what does this new local have to offer?
From the street it’s very unassuming. A small frontage and closed black blinds. Walk inside, and you’re greeted with what Richardson describes as a New York-style bar. It’s a very long, narrow space with low lighting, black and white chequered tiles, a bar to one side and dining space on the other. Upstairs is a private events space for up to 110 people. It’s quite different from what’s opened in the area to date, and signifies the changing drinking and dining scene in this part of town.
The food is all about simple bar snacks, and very much designed to share. When we visited we ordered a whole range of dishes between four of us and enjoyed the food so much that, despite being full, we ordered a few more. The food relfects Richardsons’ background – an Australian-Italian who grew up in Malaysia. The already legendary garlic prawn toastie is one of the higlights, with whipped garlic butter and a decent portion of prawns in between two slices of white bread – simple and delicious.
The rest of the menu follows the same ethos – the beef toastie is fantastic, as is the beef tartare and the meatballs. It’s the kind of place where you want to order everything. When we visited Bouvier it had only been open for four days so we were surprised that everything bar one dish was fantastic. The staff were really friendly and attentive, and loved discussing how the dishes were being sampled and tweaked as the days rolled by. We’ve been back since, and the food has only gotten better.
Drinks at Bouvier impress too. Jackson Watson (ex. Harry & Frankie and Vue de Monde sommelier) and Lynda Horton (La Luna) have put togehter a drinks list featuring a focused selection of mostly Australian wines, along with some local beers (the taps are Lion but independent brews can be found in the fridge) and classic cocktails with inventive twists here and there.
Richardson wanted to open a venue that does “great food, great drinks, and great service” and we think he’s succeeded. Hoorah to another quality Brunswick East establishment, and double hurrah for the 3:00 am license.
159 Lygon Street
Telephone: (03) 9387 8815
Tue – Fri: 4:00pm to 11:00pm
Sat – Sun: 12:00pm to 3:00am