Beau, Wine Bar, had a tough go of it opening just before lockdown, but Sarah Tuck (newest fan of their Freaky Chicken) finds they've more than just made it through.
On a recent chilly Thursday evening we launched ourselves in the front door of Beau, fizzing with excitement to be catching up over dinner in the neighbourhood. I hadn’t seen my friend since well before lockdown, so we were already poised to enjoy ourselves, and I’m so happy to report expectations were exceeded.
Co-owner, the delightful Diva Giles, welcomed us inside and sorted our drinks in minutes (what can I say, I know it’s a wine bar but I started with a Negroni). Her enthusiasm for this new enterprise was palpable, having closed their original premise Freaky last year, Diva and her business partner and head chef, Logan Birch opened Beau just two weeks before lockdown…the timing not ideal. Now they are back up and running, offering an array of delectable dishes, with extended opening hours including lunch from Friday-Sunday.
The meals and snacks are available in three different sizes, ‘something to pick at’ (if you’re ducking in for a quick drink on the way home from work), and ‘smaller plates and ‘larger plates’ for something more substantial. We chose to start with the outrageously good Freaky Fried Chicken with Sesame Mayo with a side of flavour-packed Broccoli with Miso Bagna Cauda – highly recommended – and to be fair, probably could have stopped there.
Beau's Freaky Chicken
But we were on a roll, so ventured onwards with Pan Fried Market Fish with a sublime, rich, velvety Brown Butter Hollandaise, The Spuntino Pea, Feta and Radish Salad, and totally unnecessarily, the Fries with Marie Rose Mayo. We ate every last one.
Pan Fried Market Fish
The simple interior of Beau doesn’t detract from its charm, but I know it will benefit from the easing of lockdown restrictions – it suits a warm and vibrant clientele not separated metres apart in a small space. Despite the social distancing circumstances when we visited there was a wee buzz in the air, and I can’t wait to get back there at level 1 to see it in full flight..I still need to try the Roast Cauliflower with Tahini and Pomegranate and the Jerusalem Artichoke with Hazelnut Crème and Endive…weekend plans are looking up!
Logan Birch, Diva Giles, Isla Treadwell and Nic Ropati
Beau, Wine Bar
265 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby, Auckland 1011