Budburst refers to the sprouting of new shoots at the start of a season. It’s an apt name for sommelier Rachel Niall’s first foray into the small-bar scene as owner.

The space has a comfortable, classic and European atmosphere, created by stripping back the anarchic decor of previous venue, Wee Bar. There’s a small bar to the front, while in the back it’s all about dining, where chef Gwenael Lesle works his open kitchen.

Niall has curated a list that’s very much about her tastes. Wine that she would drink: that’s the rule. With more than 26 by the glass and 140 by the bottle there’s much to discover, from natural whites from South Australia and South Africa to Old World reds.

The beer list is just as impressive. The honed selection provides local choice from the likes of Eagle Bay, Nail, Bootleg and other Australian independents, plus a good selection from the States and Europe. There’s Oude Gueuze Tilquin, Rogue Hazelnut Brown Ale and Camden Town’s Hells Lager.

Lesle’s menu is well priced and includes braised lamb neck and pan-fired scallops. But the charcuterie board will be the go-to for many, with chicken liver parfait, duck terrines and brioche all house-made. If it’s simple comfort you’re after, the croque monsieur is the answer.

Updated: February 12th, 2022

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