When the old milk bar closed in Kings Arcade, Armadale, we were wondering what would take its place. This is Armadale after all, so the odds were good for either ‘cafe’ or ‘bridal shop’.
Well Jason M Jones has proved us wrong. He’s opened this place instead, Bouzy, a “tongue-in-cheek pisstake on the classic Parisian Bar à Vins”.
Rowdy French wine bar was definitely not what we were expecting here, but damn we’re glad to see it.
If you haven’t heard of Jason, he’s the genius behind another French icon, Entrecote (he also owns Second Home in Eltham). With Bouzy he wanted to shake things up and have a little fun. Which isn’t something you usually associate with French food, garlic and tablecloths.
The night kicks off at 5pm, when Bouzy starts slinging $2 oysters and $6 house wine and beer. You can get kickass snacks up at the giant, horse-shore terrazzo bar—maybe some baked escargot with black garlic, or choux pastry gougères stuffed with Gruyère and thyme béchamel. Our favourite is the fried potato skins, topped with crème fraiche and smoked Yarra Valley salmon roe. They’re even doing beef Bourguignon party pies FFS.
Of course, if you want something more substantial, seat yourself down at one of the cute bistro tables and order up the steak frites (sloshed with that trademark Entrecote secret sauce). Chef David is also whipping up cheeseburgers with cognac mustard, roast chicken with petit pois, and a killer chocolate mousse for dessert.
Jason built this place with the help of his designer partner Brahman Perera, and the fit-out screams ‘good time Paris’.
“The vintage telephone, Ricard water carafes and delicate crystal light shades all came over in our hand luggage from Aix en Provence five years ago,” says Perera. “As passionate foodies and entertainers, it’s really about creating your own personal, private space.”
As you’d expect, the wine list is very French and very deep. In fact, you can browse most of the bottles, racked along the wall. Bouzy is also serving up large format Magnums ‘on pour’ each evening. Clue was in the title with that one, I suppose...
Image credit: Sharyn Cairns