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Do not visit Bouchon Bistro with a friend who doesn’t like sharing. The menu at this sophisticated urban hangout located in the cellar of La Dorrance City Winery, is delicious to read, so expect to over-order and spend the evening making like George Calombaris on Australian Masterchef – carefully splitting each dish to make sure both or all of you get to taste all the elements on the plate.
It’s so hard to choose – from among Pea and artichoke risotto with grated Pecorino, Kudu carpaccio with beetroot and date salad, Grilled Tiger prawns with saffron and garlic, and whatever else is fresh in the kitchen in the week you visit.
The food when it is served, however, feels a bit like chef’s night off. The baked Camembert needs more time in the oven, and the bruschetta needs less. The lamb ribs are succulent and tender, but the mustard BBQ sauce is over-sweet. The pan-fried squid is good and the chorizo imparts a lovely smoky flavour, but the spices in the Masala kingklip are raw and pungent.
Only open on weeknights, this wine bar and tapas eatery aims straight at the hearts of urban food lovers. The concept is inspired. The food, however, needs more love.
A city winery is a sexy, contemporary idea – no trekking out to the Winelands, however fun that is. As you’d expect from a cellar, the La Dorrance wines offer good value, along with some heavy hitters including some international options you won’t find elsewhere,
Service is friendly and competent, if a bit generic for such a unique venue.
Behind a discreet entrance, this is one handsome wine bar, hitting just the right note between authentic cellar and modern elegance. Entering feels like discovering a secret; it seems the ideal backdrop for a foolish romance or a very late afternoon tryst.
A stylish weeknight out.
Eat Out critics dine anonymously and pay for their meals in full. Read our editorial policy here.