Boulcott Street Bistro caught our eye early on as somewhere to go for dinner in Wellington. Last Friday, after a very wet week, we rewarded ourselves with a visit.
Just a stone’s throw away from where we live, the quaint white house looks out-of-place and dwarfed against the office buildings that surround it. The website told us that ‘the charming inner-city Gothic cottage was originally built as a wedding gift by a local groom for his bride to be in the late 1870s’. Nice gift.
The restaurant doesn’t take bookings for dinner so, when we arrived at the peak time of 7pm, we waited for about 45 mins for a table. The bar is an inviting place to wait with a G&T and one couple were eating at the bar.
When we were seated we opted for fishy starters. Rob had calamari and I went for Bluff oysters, which I’d been really keen to try. Bluff is the most southern town in NZ and famous for its oysters, currently in season and on sale across the country. I’ve not eaten oysters too many times but these were twice the size of any I’d seen and delicious. The calamari was great too, but we could have done with the bread that came with the mains a bit earlier (mopping up fish juice).
For mains, I went for a ‘BSB classic’: the Fillet Bernaise. It was a beautiful steak and cooked just right. I’d had a ‘medium-rare’ in Kaikoura that was as tough as old boots. When the meal arrived I was skeptical about the small pot of fries but there were enough and they stayed piping hot. The garlic butter and red wine jus were great accompaniments but some green would have been a welcome addition. Rob went for the Braised Lamb Shank, which was served on the bone on ‘smoked tomato with herb polenta and crushed minted peas’. We washed this down with a bottle of Shiraz.
We shared a Crème Brulée for dessert – another BSB classic and my absolute favourite. You see Crème Brulée on most menus now, often with added flavourings or alcohol additions. I’m a purist and glad they hadn’t messed with a true classic, served with poached pears on the side.
It was a pretty expensive evening, the bill coming to $200 (about £100); we were celebrating finding work in Wellington and it would definitely be somewhere you saved for a treat. I do fancy going back for their Sunday dinner: two courses and a glass of red for $45.
Overall, my high expectations were met: I loved the food, the service was good and the ambiance was warm and inviting on a cold, wet night in the city.