Kate reviews: Buns, Bertha and a Bloody Mary at Beau Kitchen
Beau Kitchen & Cellar – 472 Beach Rd Beaumaris
Click PLAY below to hear Kate’s review on 3AW Breakfast
It’s a familiar story now, pub closes to make way for apartments, locals lose drinking hole. At least in this case the façade remains, a stunning bright white Victorian building that was the Beaumaris Hotel. You won’t get a parma and a pot inside, but just a couple of doors down is Beau Kitchen and Cellar, a smart all-day eatery with a decent bottle shop attached, that fills the spot pretty well.
Certainly a modern fit out, concrete floors and breeze block walls mean it can feel a little rowdy at times. But it’s bright and funky, with low tables, higher benches and some seats around the bar.
The menu at breakfast time is creative and tempting – owner Alf France says the biggest sellers are the Egg Royale with house-smoked trout, or (hardly surprising) the smashed avocado and goats’ cheese on toast, with poached egg, pickled shallot and dukkah. That said, I would have smashed the Breakfast bap – with chorizo, fried egg, manchego and avo.
You can order off that breakfast/brunch menu until 3pm, but there’s a lunch menu that comes into play from midday. There are some buns that come with fries, some larger mains, and a heap of “wine food” snacks that’d keep the share plate lovers happy.
We nearly didn’t order the croquettes, I know I’m a fiend for them, but I am so glad I gave in. These ones were super crispy, with big fat panko crumbs on the outside, perfectly gooey with lashings of smoky ham hock inside. More unusual were the accompaniments, the two croquettes were each served on a super thin slice of charred pineapple, with a dollop of spicy jalapeno salsa. Sounds a little whacky, but man this was a lovely flavour combo. Little bit salty, smoky, kinda sweet and just the right amount of spicy. Absolutely loved them.
A lazy Sunday lunch and I was all about the buns. The Crispy fried chicken bun contained just that – big chunks of chicken, breaded and fried then tossed in Frank’s hot sauce. Note: it is hot. It all came together with melted emmental cheese, lovely smoky bacon, red onion on a demi-brioche bun. Ask for extra napkins, this is a dangerously messy dish. Worth it, though.
I told them to hold the fries and instead we shared a massive vegie dish from the mains menu. Plenty of the mains come courtesy of Beau’s wood fired oven, Bertha, and this was one such example. New season pumpkin, Jerusalem artichoke and brussel sprouts are cooked in Bertha, the first two come out gloriously charred – black in parts on the outside, and soft inside. It’s not the prettiest plate, they’re piled upon a sauce in the form of creamed mushrooms but this is just tasty as hell. I’m still dreaming about that Jerusalem artichoke.
The other half went for the half chicken – free-range bird, brined then grilled in Bertha, and glazed with head chef Jeff’s own barbecue sauce. Lovely, tender, sticky.
Being attached to bottle shop “RACK and RUiN”, the wine list changes almost weekly here, but, diners can also choose from over 200 bottles next door and pay $14.50 to drink it in house.
The cocktails go alright too, there’s a variation on an Espresso Martini made with spiced rum, and a take on a Bloody Mary that boasts the excellent Australian-made West Winds Cutlass gin.
The bayside suburbs have been crying out for some decent eateries, and someone certainly is listening.