Feather and Docks’ elegant and sophisticated older sister opened recently and we were chomping at the bit to visit and sample some of the delectable delights Bstow had to offer firsthand.
With a twist on the Old English verb, Bstow couldn’t be a more appropriate name. When you present a gift to someone, you bestow it, which is the same thing as giving it, but often classier and more respectful; two adjectives that well and truly sum up the space.
Owner Vaughn crossed the ditch from New Zealand eight years ago and wasn’t impressed with the lack of worthy cafes and restaurants, so decided to go ahead and open two of his own establishments with partner Rihannon—the duo seriously bringing a new meaning to #couplegoals. Spending their mornings at Feather and Docks, and evenings at Bstow with a tot under two in between, it’s obvious to see the pure passion, hard slog, and dedication that goes into helping give Palm Beach some culinary culture.
Easy to walk straight past, don’t be deceived with the minimalistic feel of this new entry because, once inside, the design demeanour has a New York industrial warehouse vibe with a raw and organic feel, taking you instantly away from the coastal beach atmosphere we’ve grown so used to. Think: a modern retro flair with intricate patterned metal tables, stylish yet simple light fittings, a long and inviting bar and a splash of marigold-coloured ceramic plates. We were particularly impressed by the thoughtful use of slabs of local rock, found riverside, that make up some of the serving dishes, ensuring you totally feel like you’re eating from the goodness of the Earth.
Bstow is a unique evening venue that aims to appeal to everybody, with simple and honest dishes sourced from local produce, but that also pushes the boundary with flavour combinations and preparation processes. Fermenting, foraging, and farming is the philosophy, with nothing sourced from big suppliers and only from local markets and artisans. If farm-friendly dining is the ethos, then changing people’s perceptions is the mantra of the talented crew at Bstow.
Fermenting, foraging, and farming is the philosophy, with nothing sourced from big suppliers and only from local markets and artisans.
Rotating tap beers including the likes of Balter, 4 Pines, and New England Brewing Co. are available alongside premium liquors and a gracefully-selected wine list that’ll guarantee you are seriously spoilt when it comes to your drop of choice. With plans to add mains to the menu in the coming weeks, it’s definitely worth a visit now with a small but enticing menu still on offer. Nothing like the norm, you’ll find fresh-cured Kingfish, smoked kangaroo, pickled mussels, and eggplant chips to snack on, before delving into the small share plates, vegetable sides, and sophisticated cheese and crackers options. We can totally vouch for the beef tongue… weird but oh-so wonderful and, as Vaughan describes, “having the texture of pork belly but tastes like a rich red wine.” Yep, this is nek-level foodie porn.
At Bstow, it feels like you are eating in an enchanted forest with sprigs of flowers decorating each dish; we half expected fairies or pixies to peek out from behind the pass. Devouring dessert is always a highlight of the dining experience. You can either cleanse your palette with the gorgeous house-made watermelon, strawberry, and beetroot sorbet served with a side of meringue and anglaise, or go all out and indulge in the decadent brownie served with chocolate sorbet—both enough to induce endless food envy on Instagram.
When the chef walks in an hour early for his shift to “sharpen his knives” you know you are in the hands of some experienced food masters whose passion and purpose is to create experiences to remember and food that not only warms the soul but breaks you out of your mould. We don’t want to give away more than we already have, so follow our lead—grab your best buds, head for Palm Beach, and give your tastebuds a treat.
Want another reason to add an evening of bar and restaurant hopping in Palm Beach to your to-do list? You need to know about 8th Ave. Terrace, too.
Photo Credit: Hayley Williamson for Metropolist