La Buvette and Matinal

This West End spot is a two-in-one. During the day, it's Matinal – a Parisian-style cafe serving big bowls of cafe au lait, French toast, croissants and more. At night, it becomes a wine bar, La Buvette, which focuses on the French ritual of aperitif; catching a drink with friends before dinner.

The interior immediately transports you to Paris, with imported French art lining the walls and French-style décor fitting out the surprisingly spacious location.

In the mornings, as Matinal, the focus is on croissants, coffee and croque monsieurs. For coffee, there's a built-in under-bench system from Seattle-based company Mavam. All you see are two heads sprouting elegantly from the bar top, which leaves room for savoury quiches and lemon-meringue and almond tarts under glass cloches. Kangarilla roaster Dawn Patrol Coffee provides the beans.

Croissants and pains au chocolat come from Abbots and Kinney. And baguettes are made fresh daily by an artisan baker. The rest of the all-day menu leans on bistro classics such as croissant perdu – French toast made with croissants (which come slathered with lemon curd and crème fraîche). There are also soft-boiled eggs with baguette soldiers; and scrambled eggs with sautéed tomato, and garlicky pine mushrooms, cavolo nero (a variety of kale) and goat’s curd on toast. French staples such as croque monsieur, the fried-egg-topped croque madame, and garlic-buttered escargot are all still there.

In the afternoon, Matinal becomes a wine bar: La Buvette Drinkery. Need to smash a beer and wolf down a quick bite? Or perhaps you’re happy to sit around ordering bottle after bottle of natural French wine while grazing on locally sourced charcuterie watching an hour turn into an evening. La Buvette Drinkery is equally good for both. Wines are sourced from French and South Australian natural wine producers where the makers practice minimal intervention, avoiding preservatives.

French spirits line the shelves for creating interpretations of classic cocktails as well as signature aperitifs – Ricard (served over ice) and Picon (strikingly orange in flavour, poured with beer).

Updated: December 16th, 2020

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