A popular hangout in Highgate, the Beaufort Street Merchant, serves up breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week and is seemingly continually busy and buzzy. Plenty of seating across a couple of rooms, with friendly and chatty waiters to welcome, seat and serve you.
A pretty tidy list of wines by the glass – 8 or so of each of red and white – a rosé and half a dozen sparkling, as well as beers and cocktails give plenty of choice – and the bottled wine list is particularly striking with some excellent offerings from WA, Australia and overseas.
The 2014 Domaine de Triennes rosé from Provence has a soft rose petal hue, with almost an apricot blush – a fragrant candy apple and strawberry nose and a soft, crisp elegant palate. We enjoyed it so much that later in the day I ventured to my local liquor store in Guildford and found a bottle there.
As for lunch, stuffed zucchini flowers as well as a dish of barramundi from Cone Bay struck the perfect note.
The fish had a wonderfully crisped and salted skin protecting the moist, juicy and soft flesh – beautifully cooked. Served with spinach, nutty, earthy cauliflower, creamy mash, plump sweet raisins and a scattering of roasted pine nuts to provide textural contrast.
Two large fleshy flowers had been lightly battered and filled with oozy melted goat cheese and sat on a bed of mild slightly bitter frisée, nuts and seeds speckled about while a hint of aromatic fennel lifted the dish.
The Beaufort Street Merchant is deservedly popular and with some building and reno going on in the background, is apparently heading for a refit and re-launch – we are sure it will continue to hit the mark.