The day after Buzo’s final service the restaurant’s sign fell off the building and crashed to the ground. Owner Phillip Fikkers took it as a good omen. “It was like a sign from God,” he says. “Buzo is finished. We’re ready for Jersey Rd Bistro.”
Understanding the venue’s history is like experiencing déjà vu. Fikkers and Mark Campbell (who are co-owners of Macleay St Bistro) bought Buzo in 2015. Pinbone was in the space before, and before that Buzo, but under different management.
Jersey Rd Bistro is different; it’s more relaxed and isn’t focused on Italian cuisine.
“The demographics in the area have changed,” says Fikkers. “There are more families now. Buzo was fine dining. We want Jersey Rd Bistro to be a casual, mid-week destination for locals, and a place to celebrate on the weekend.”
The new menu matches the relaxed atmosphere. Chef Jason Dean focuses on two or three core ingredients in each dish, eschewing heavy, buttery sauces for light and fresh flavours.
“I focus on flavour and seasonality, obviously, but also textures,” says Dean. “With the roasted lamb rump, I use two types of potatoes and a zucchini and mint crumble that melts through the sauce and gives a different texture.”
Serving brunch is also part of changing the venue from fine to casual dining. The menu involves more than avo on toast (although there is a version served with goat’s curd and pepitas). There is rock oysters with a white balsamic and verjus mignonette, and fried duck egg and duck jerky served with spiced quinoa. “I’m very confident within two or three months we’re going to own the brunch market in Woollahra,” says Fikker.
Wood accents and cool shades of blue dominate the venue, appearing on the walls, chairs and carpet. The decor is pared back, and this makes a large mirror mosaic the centrepiece.
There’s also a new sign over the door; according to Fikkers, there to stay.
Jersey Rd Bistro
3 Jersey Road, Woollahra
(02) 9328 1600
Tue to Sat 5pm–12pm