It’s Buzo, take two.
I’m about to pack my bags for an Italian summer. And not just any Italian summer, one that includes the wedding of one of my best friends on the Amalfi Coast. That day, and many of the others that surround it, will include multiple courses of carb-loaded, heavy traditional fare. And I can’t wait. But in the meantime, I have been pleased to discover that one of our Aussie stalwarts of this fare has decided to dance to the beat of a different drum: Buzo in Woollahara.
It’s not that they were doing a bad job. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. They were one of Sydney’s very top Italian restaurants, who, after closing for a couple of years (allowing us to devour the dishes of the much-loved Pinbone) reopened in late 2015 in an ode to their former self.
However, several months on owners Mark Campbell and Phillip Flickers decided that amidst fun and frivolous, yet lock our law laden, nature of mid-2016 Sydney – it was time for Buzo to evolve. And so it has.
Enter a stylish refurb, a new head chef (Jason Dean, formerly of Bentley), a new maître de (Stephen Laing, formerly of Cho Cho San), greater opening hours (they now do Sunday lunch and will open on other days by appointment for large groups) and a new ethos of lighter and broader modern European food.
It’s the latter that excites me the most. You can simply sit downstairs at the bar with a Negroni and your choice from 15 different bar snacks. Including the pickled red cabbage crackers with parmesan custard and the sugar smoked fish fingers with rosemary mayonnaise that are a must. Choose your courses from their extensive winter a la carte menu or let Jason and his team decide for you with the Evolution Menu.
This six-course feast is Buzo’s clear signal of how they are using the tenets of quality and seasonality from who they were to inspire the very different restaurant that they have become. Stand out dishes include cured wagyu tartare, roasted kale, sweet onion, radish and mustard; confit kingfish, edamame, Jerusalem artichoke & crispy cabbage; and malt banana parfait with coconut yoghurt, white chocolate and blueberry. At $75 this is a very worthy meal, but when it’s $60 on a Tuesday it’s almost too good to be true.
So I’m happy to leave the traditional Italian cuisine to Italy and return to Buzo once I’m back to see where else this exciting evolution takes them.
3 Jersey Rd, Woollahra
Mon: Closed, Tues -Sat 6–10pm, Sun: 12–3pm, 6–10pm