Bivouac is a cozy but consistently busy restaurant on William Street. It embodies the share plate philosophy, and you’ll often find the walls covered in different art – most of which is for sale. The staff that I’ve had contact with are all fantastic. Slightly hipster in their own way, they all know their food and wine, and are always happy to make a recommendation when you ask.
Before we know it, we’ve somehow been talked into having a cheeky daytime cocktail each. I choose one that’s made of Sailor Jerry’s spiced rum (one of my favourite bases these days!) and coconut juice. It’s like a pina colada but not at the same time – I love it.
Jeremy gets the suggested “man cocktail” – Negroni. It’s a bitter cocktail that is strong and has a nice rounded kick of orange. It knocks the breath out of me but I’m a bit of a weakling when it comes to alcohol.
Though Bivouac’s standard menu tends to rotate around shared food, their lunchtime offering includes some individual dishes which suits the time of the day and the workers that often flock down.
Jeremy chooses from this part of the menu, which makes it easy for me to narrow down my selection. He opts for the pulled pork with spiced tomato jus, fried pickles, salad and za’atar dusted labneh on grilled malawach ($19.50). When it arrives at the table our lovely waitress tells him to eat about half of what’s on the flatbread and then roll the rest up to eat as a wrap. He happily follows her instruction – but is of course lovely enough to offer me some bites (all in the name of blogging right!).
The pulled pork has clearly been slow cooked. It’s tender, melt in your mouth and rich from the tomato sauce. I love labneh so I appreciate the creamy texture and taste especially combined with those spices. It’s such a delicious lunchtime meal, and I can imagine would definitely be one of the more popular items to order.
While we each order separate dishes, we decide that we just have to order a serving of the fried local whitebait with tahini yoghurt ($10). It was either this or the fries with truffle mayonnaise. But whitebait always seem to lure me in – these ones were delicious. Well salted, and crisp, sitting atop a nice little salad of greens, radish and pomegranates. I particularly like the tahini yoghurt, which is cool and refreshing – just thick enough to work as a great side dip.
For my meal I also choose from the lunches side of the menu – the grilled haloumi, cauliflower ‘cous cous’, puffed quinoa, barberry, mint, nashi pear and date molasses dressing salad ($16.50). Don’t the torn chunks of haloumi just look amazing!
The salad was divinely refreshing. Full of texture and flavour, with sweetness from the cherry tomatoes and pomegranates. I did encounter a few underripe seeds though which made me wince as my poor teeth rattled in my mouth. Ouch 🙁
The barberries in the salad are fantastic, easily my newly found obsession. Tart and sweet at the same time, they work well with the salty cheese. I gobble up every single crumb on the plate and sigh with absolute satisfaction after I’m done.
Like I said, Bivouac is one of my favourite places to dine. I love the food and I loved having some time with my boy. In the midst of our crazy lives we got to slow down and enjoy some great flavours with great company.