BARBUTO is a venue my friends, the Bradley’s, had been discussing with me for about five months, we kept babbling that we should do dinner up their way, and as the Bradley’s live across the road from BARBUTO in Narrabeen and as far as Mrs Bradley was concerned, served the best Espresso Martinis ever, we worked out a date to visit before Christmas so we could get our calendar’s sorted. And so it was that last night the Bradleys joined with the Farrar/Tennisons and the solo travelling King.
The first thing I noticed about the venue is that it’s HUGE and it’s incredibly popular, there was literally a queue out the door and we arrived ten minutes early and had to wait until our table was ready. The place is buzzing and noisy and for the evening I had to cup my hand behind my ear to hear my friends converse across the table, originally we were meant to be in a corner, more secluded and personal table but got moved due to numbers in the last minute (our fault not the venue’s).
The venue is beachy modern chic with a sustainable “green” looking use of plants, I never got close enough to see if real or plastic but it suited the venue that also compliments with retro fittings and old advertising, old leather single-seaters and drum-like animal skin stools plus exposed brick with some great artwork on the walls. Some of the artwork painted onto the brick looked like the women on the walls in THE HOLD and then this cute random ferris wheel (below) that was behind our table on a raised platform for couple’s dining.
While we waited for our table we ordered a few beverages; three Espresso Martinis FOR $14- each, a Burnt Orange and Vanilla Cosmo ($15-) and a very interesting Ginger Mojito ($15-), these were delivered to our table as both became ready at the same time.
Jacqui loves the Espresso Martinis and I am fairly new to them – I was introduced to them at THE ALBION HOTEL in the CBD about a year ago and that is so far my benchmark. Jacqui, with her and Lucas’ one year old in tow, rarely goes out so she was in bliss with hers and the remainder of mine, Lucas enjoyed his and I wasn’t too sold, probably because I am a chicken when it comes to anything coffee but I didn’t taste much martini and tasted more an iced espresso but this is my comparison to the few I have had previously and as word has it (from more sources than just Jacqui) BARBUTO makes damn fine ones.
Lady Farrar wasn’t a huge fan of the Burnt Orange and Vanilla Cosmo until she took out the burnt piece of orange that she said had a funny taste from whatever they burnt it with, but once she took it out she loved it.
Mister Tennisons inhaled his Ginger Mojito and on my next visit I will definitely try this one – sounds amazing and I worship all things ginger.
For the mains three of us shared a 2013 Terre Auree Sangiovese from Perugia, Umbria for $45-. It was a lovely light sangiovese that paired beautifully with the heavy sticky glaze of ribs, their alcohol and wine menu is as impressive as their vast food menu, there is something for every palette in this place, it’s impressive!
We ordered a few entrees, sides and snacks but wanted them to come out at the same time with the mains and big claim to start with but BARBUTO takes the crown (from DEE WHY HOTEL) for BEST JALAPEÑO POPPERS IN SYDNEY – just amazing!! Four poppers were $10- and the inside had a perfect amount of cheese and the aioli was a nice coolant to counter the amazing heat in these poppers, some of the hotter I have experienced – these are a must on your visit!!
Lady Farrar aka Cath is a small eater so she ordered the Smoked Salmon Bruschetta ($13.50) and the Baked Potato Side ($4.50) – the baked potato was actually two of them and it ended up being a cheap but massive meal that Cath struggled through – I would order that bruschetta for breakfast or lunch – it looks amazing and Cath loved it.
To accompany Mister Tenison’s aka Luke’s massive ribs dish he ordered a side of the Broccolini for $9-, this looked amazing, served in a garlic oil, chilli & pangrattato this would become a favourite of most who ordered it.
Essentially BARBUTO is known for it’s BBQ, its ribs dishes are drooled over and much loved. The menu is massive with close oN sixty items of food to choose from. The ribs are not cheap though but you get what you pay for, it is just over $50- for a serving of full ribs that come with cornslaw and either baked potatoes of string fries. You can, however, order a half rack of ribs which is what I ordered below, that is a half rack of pork ribs for $35- and I could not finish it – it was MASSIVE!!!! I finished them cold for breakfast with a hard boiled egg and that was delicious. The thickness of the ribs is decent and they are packed with meat. For my own personal taste I found the sticky basting delicious but would have preferred if it contained less sugar.
Luke ordered the full ribs for $52-, or more half pork and half lamb racks, he devoured and loved it. Lucas ordered the below which was half a rack of pork ribs and the fried chicken (also $52-) and he loved it, I got to try the chicken and it was phenomenal – again my theory that fried chicken will become the new “food craze” is punctuated with this amazingly tender, brilliantly flavoured and superbly cooked dish.
I am astounded both Luke and Lucas finished their meals, I ate half of what they did and was in physical pain after I finished dessert from over-indulgence. Lucas and Luke got meat-sweats as soon as they finished and the temperature in the venue was good, I survived a night without meatmares but haven’t heard from them yet, Freddy Kruger probably has them slow roasting as far as I know.
I also better mention the main display pic up the top, this was Jacqui’s dish, the 600gm chilled King Crab with cocktail sauce and chips for $50-. This dish was epic, we all ate some crab and Jacqui probably still took home about 200gms worth. It was amazing but the one thing that surprised me was that it was chilled, I would much prefer this served hot with a chilli sauce option – I learned Jacqui orders this on most of her visits and actually comes prepared with her own tub of chilli sauce from home haha. Gotta love prepared mums, I was bloody impressed!
As a seasoned food blogger I have studied the menu online before I have arrived at the venue and was determined to keep my main smaller so I could order and destroy the Lemon Pie Mess: meringue, lemon curd, ice cream, biscuit crumbs & berries for only $11-. LOVED IT – not as sexy as an Eaton Mess (also on the menu) but the lemon curd was sublime and we debated on the biscuits, I could not taste it but we think the biscuit crumbs were from a ginger biscuit, it paired well in the dish. The meringue was perfect but the meal wasn’t as messy as I would expect but alas I still nearly licked the plate clean, I will order the Eaton Mess on my next visit.
And here are the delightful people who feasted with me, Luke Tenisons, Catherine Farrar, some sexy bearded man, the cutest cutey-pie ever, Jacqui and Lucas Bradley. Great night, great venue and better people.
I have only really discussed what we ordered but as mentioned the menu is extensive, there is pastas, lots of seafood, light meals, burgers and there is even a banquet menu and one especially for kids. This place caters to everyone and it is understandable why it is so popular. The staff were amazing and run off their feet, the kitchen is mostly open and you can see most meals get prepped, I recommend taking a look, some of the bar and kitchen staff are gorgeous :). And special thanks to our waitperson who among everything else still stopped to take pics for us and hand out extra spoons to people so they could all steal my lemon mess.
(02) 9970 6171
SHOP 5/16 OCEAN STREET, NARRABEEN, NSW 2101