Jose and Sandra De Oliveira’s Bouzy Rouge has made a name for itself during its ten-year tenure as the wildly eccentric Mediterranean pub that’s not only a bit of harmless glitzy fun, but serves delicious, coastal European comfort fare without pretension.
The De Oliverias are taking this ethos Northside, with their newly established North Melbourne Hotel in Victoria Street.
Like Bouzy Rouge, the décor is unapologetically ostentatious, and BZ’s signature animal print, studded leather and mirror-balled bull’s heads have made their way into the new establishment. Even if this isn’t your cup of tea, the food is consistent and good – classic European food that will have you coming back for more.
– The charred eye fillet with pumpkin puree, roast witlof and jus: beautiful cuts of meat that are at once tender and rare, charred and flavoursome. The pumpkin puree added a fresh sweetness and the charred witlof a nutty complexity. Textures and flavour were well-matched all-round.
– The duck liver parfait with housemade pickles and toast: a classic European staple brightened up by the housemade pickles. No need to say more – this is the creamy rich parfait that you can’t help but smear all over your toast. *
– The linguini marinara with chilli, basil, garlic, and wine: a tasty marinara of fresh prawns and mussels with small tendrils of tender squid interspersed with fresh linguini and macerated cherry tomatoes.
The North Mebourne Hotel may not conform to the trendy norm of today’s stripped back, indoor plant-teeming warehouse-esque fit-outs, but don’t let that deter you – the De Oliveiras are proving once again that when it comes to Mediterranean food, let the tasty moreishness of the dishes speak for themselves.