It looks like there’s a wave of American restaurants crossing the pond to set foot in London lately. Buvette is one of them, opening just before another New York restaurant, Sunday In Brooklyn, arrived in the same area. I have had my opinions about Sunday In Brooklyn London and admittedly wasn’t too sure about trying out yet another hyped American restaurant. But eventually, here I was at Buvette London as I strolled around the Notting Hill area and ended up inside for brunch with my friends.
Buvette London: the all-day neighbourhood eatery
Buvette is a French Bistro that started out in New York. Inspired by European gastronomy, Chef Jody Williams founded Buvette with the concept of being a part restaurant, part cafe, and part bar. Essentially, the idea is to be that neighbourhood eatery where one can pop in for their morning espresso, a casual lunch, and an evening drink. The restaurant also has branches in Paris and Tokyo, and now London in the heart of Notting Hill.
Arriving at the restaurant, there is this urban European cafe vibe and it even felt as if I was being momentarily transported back into Paris. Its charms don’t stop at the interiors and decor, but also the little things such as the little booklet for drinks, French menu, tableware, etc.
Unsurprisingly, it’s pretty busy in there as we arrived at 2 pm on a Saturday afternoon. It hasn’t been the easiest to get attention from the staff. After we sat down, it took a little while to get someone’s attention for the menu, and then a little while more to order our food. Luckily, the food didn’t take as long to arrive. But at times, it felt like no one took note that we were there waiting for service.
The Food (What We Ordered)
Fully immersed in the Parisian theme, the menu pretty much comes in French. But worry not, the simple illustrations and brief English explanations are more than enough in understanding what you’re ordering.
There is an all-day brunch menu available on the weekends serving from 8 am to 4 pm. You can find breakfast classics, as well as salads and lunch options. Please note that Buvette London does NOT serve halal meats. Vegetarian and/or seafood options are available.
Brouilles Saumon (£13)
I went with the Salmon & Scrambled Eggs option, which came fairly generous in portion. A pool of golden yellow scrambled eggs, topped with plenty of pink salmon slices and a massive dollop of creme fraiche. Presentation aside, I’d say the dish was okay but it’s nothing outstanding. The eggs were standard – nothing super silky like those from nearby Granger & Co’s or unique seasonings. The bottom line is that it’s a regular breakfast/brunch dish and a rather easily forgettable one.
Gaufre Nutella (£4.20)
The waffles, on the other hand, had certainly left a slightly better impression. Perhaps it’s the way it’s served high on a stand, or it’s simply because you can’t go wrong with Belgian-style waffles with plenty of Nutella! The waffles were lovely, featuring a very light subtle crisp on the outside and incredibly soft & fluffy on the inside. They are generous with the Nutella on top – a little bit too much for my personal taste but no doubt the dream for any Nutella lovers.
Cafe Latte (£4.20)
What’s brunch without a good cup of coffee? I ordered a latte and was delighted to find that it comes in a very large cup. If you look closely, you’d notice that there’s no handle on the cup! So yeah, I pretty much had my coffee as if I’m drinking from a soup bowl, which offered a really cosy feel. The coffee at Buvette London definitely fared better than their food, in my opinion. Rich and velvety to taste, whilst not like the best coffee in town, I generally really enjoyed it.
Cafe Miel (£4.50)
My friend tried out the Cafe Miel, which is coffee with honey. It’s got a light sweetened touch from the honey with a subtle floral fragrance. The presentation was lovely too, featuring a neatly executed latte art. All in all, the flavours blended well and it was quite a nice cup of coffee.
Fresh Mint Tea (£4)
Last but not least, we had a pot of Mint Tea as well. The tea was very light, to a point we almost thought it was just hot water pouring out from the teapot. Even after letting it sit & brew for a longer time, the colour remains super light with just a very subtle yellowish hue. Despite the lack of colour, the tea did carry a refreshing minty taste.
In conclusion, Buvette London has certainly been a better experience compared to Sunday In Brooklyn. But it’s not one I would be rushing back any time soon either. The relative lacklustre of food was made up by the quirky busy Parisian atmosphere and decent coffees. All in all, it’s a little bit underwhelming, rather forgettable (both food and service), and a little bit on the pricey end for what it is.
Have you been to Buvette London? Let us know your thoughts in the comments or tag us on Instagram @etfoodvoyage!
Buvette London does not serve any halal meats. Vegetarian and/or seafood options are available.
Tel: 020 7229 8398
Nearest station: Ladbroke Grove