It’s all about the wine and people watching at Bibo Wine Bar
It was like something out of a YouTube skit. The procession of luxury cars that drove past us, Ferrari, Porsche, Porsche, Range Rover, Porsche. The enormously large fake breasts across the share table. The plump, freshly injected lips to my right, the incessant chatter of botox to my friends left. It was all an amusing distraction that added to our evening at Bibo Wine Bar, the latest addition to Bay Street, Double Bay.
I kid you not, this is no exaggeration for a story, all of those things happen within twenty minutes of entering the dimly lit wine bar. And hey, i’m not judging, plump and preen away my friends, just don’t stand between me and a good glass of vino. On a busy Friday night the place is packed with groups of gorgeous women catching up on their week, couples on date night and a few awkward tinder meet ups. After a short wait we’re seated at the large, communal high table, but it’s a bit too noisy to hear so we move to the window. The perfect people watching perch!
Promptly our waiter hands us a wine list, bound in beautiful, soft brown leather. It’s little touches like this that make Bibo Wine Bar a suave and sexy little venue. Low, warm pendant lights hang above the bar filled with couples. Behind them, more patrons dine at the banquet seating under the light of tea candles. It’s small and cosy with just the right amount of noise to mask your own conversation.
Whilst everyone seems to be enjoying the food at Bibo Wine Bar, it’s really the wine that grabs our attention. Sommelier Louella Mathews (ex-Rockpool) has included a variety of drops from across the globe from orange South Australian wine to full bodied French reds. Play a little game of “holiday” and try drops from around the globe. I take a trip to Italy with the 2015 Tiefenbrunner Pinot Grigio which goes well with the assorted starters we order to share. These include the bacalhau (salted cod) croquettes ($4 each) and piri piri eggplant ($9.50). The croquettes are a little dry but the eggplant, although small, is full of flavour.
Next stop, France with a 2013 grenache blend from Pierre Esseglio. We enjoy a few glasses as our heavier dishes slowly arrive. First the salad of fennel, radish, witlof, persimmon and pomegranate ($12) to compliment the bone marrow made with shallots and anchovy crumb ($18). The bone marrow presents well on the bone but the flavour and texture is lost in all the crumb. It’s a shame, bone marrow really doesn’t need to be messed with too much. The beef short rib on a bed of potato, horseradish and red wine ($32) is a little frugal with only one rib but the meat does fall from the bone and has a lot more flavour than the bone marrow.
Head Chef and Portugal-native, Jose Silva was previously the Head Chef of Guillaume Brahimi’s 3-hat restaurant at the Opera House for 12 years. In recent years he purchased a bakery in Petersham called Sweet Belem. They’ve become very well known for their Portuguese pastries, in particular the Portuguese tarts. So whilst we could have ordered spiced figs with yoghurt ice cream ($12) or the chocolate mousse ($14) it would be rude not to try the renowned Sweet Belem Portuguese tart ($5 each). They’re my favourite thing on the menu and an excellent way to finish the night.
It’s early days for Bibo Wine Bar and they’ve got big plans. Soon they’ll be opening an entire new dining section at the back of the restaurant. Whilst the food is a bit hit and miss at the moment and portions could be bigger we can’t wait to go back and take our next wine “holiday”, with a cheese board and of course those Portuguese tarts.
Bibo Wine Bar
7 Bay St, Double Bay, NSW
Open Wed – Thurs 5.30 – 12am, Fri – Sat 12pm – 12am, Sun 12pm – 4pm
Last image from https://www.facebook.com/bibowinebar/