New South Wales
Tis the season for squeezing in all your festive season catch ups, if you’re like us, as you’ve been making plans for lunches and dinners, you might find yourself scrambling to think of a great spot to meet. One NSM road-tested The Buena in Mosman…with tasty results!
The pressure is on when you’re the one picking a spot for a catch up. Does it have good food? A nice ambience? Can we hear ourselves talk? And, will we feel welcome walking in with young kids in tow? The list of essentials is a long one. So it was with all these things in mind that a friend and I recently decided to give The Buena in Mosman the “mum’s lunch date” test.
The location, in the heart of Mosman, was very convenient for us as we wanted to meet between my place in Willoughby and hers in Manly. We were lunching with two babies and a pre-schooler with us, so right off the bat, we were happy to see that the first-floor restaurant was easily accessible for prams thanks to a lift. And, as we stepped out, the first thing I noticed was a parent’s room! I’m guessing I’m not the only one who makes mental notes of parent’s rooms! Not only are they helpful, but they also make you feel you’re welcome with your children.
The restaurant is spacious, with plenty of room between tables, so wheeling in with a pram and positioning one of their high chairs at the end of our table wasn’t any issue. The room itself is so inviting with a lot of light coming in through the high windowed ceilings, and plants are dotted throughout the space, giving it a pleasant garden atmosphere.
When it came to ordering, we were feeling the holiday spirit so we started with glass of Prosecco each- though I was tempted by a couple of the signature cocktails like the White Chocolate Passionfruit Martini or the Popcorn-colada! There are also wine offerings across the price spectrum, and a full bar with beer and spirits.
We went into heavy negotiations over the menu, as there were quite a few items that sounded tempting. I finally settled on the tuna poke salad, which is served with soba noodles, and wakame on a bed of greens ($25). My friend ordered the Buena sandwich with pulled pork, red cabbage, swiss cheese and pickles ($23). My daughter requested a classic burger ($22). If you’re also dining with young children, I’d suggest that the portion sizes are fairly generous, and her burger, which came with a side of fries, probably would have been large enough for the two of us to split.
Truth be told though, I’m glad we didn’t split the burger, because as good as hers was (I did sneak a bite!), my tuna poke salad was so delicious. They loaded it up with sushi-style tuna, and the sesame soy dressing pulled all of the flavors together. My friend had high praise for her pork sandwich, as well, which had tasty complement of flavors with the cabbage and cheese. It wasn’t a surprise to learn the The Buena has recently been nominated for nine Australian Hotels Association Awards, including best wine list, best family friendly and chef of the year. Everything we ate was fantastic.
We were there on a weekday, and it was fairly quiet, which was nice for easy conversation. I took note that on Sundays from 1 – 3, there is face painting and kids entertainment on offer, so I’m guessing it’s a lot more boisterous on those days!
The Buena is also making the festive season extra merry for families with a North Pole takeover including Santa’s mailbox, photos with Santa & a light installation. Excellent food, a few drinks for mum and dad, and big Christmas fun for the kids will definitely go over a treat with everyone in my family.
And, for New Years Eve, the Buena is planning a family friendly party, which will be timed to let families get to the Lower North Shore vantage points for the 9p.m. family fireworks.
My lunch dates and I were all so pleased with our afternoon at The Buena. The location was easy, the atmosphere was lovely, the food and drinks were delicious, and they made our children feel welcome. For me, that ticks all the boxes on the mum’s lunch date test!