Yesterday was the last day of Triangle Restaurant Week (TRW), a week where tons of restaurants in Chapel Hill, Durham, and Raleigh create pre-fixed menus at pre-fixed prices for people to explore. These prices are generally much cheaper than when it's not TRW and is an innovative advertising opportunity.
This TRW, a few friends and I tried out Buku: Global Street Food. It is truly a global restaurant with twists on classic dishes ranging from:
- South America (Colombian arepa, Argentinian short rib)
- Europe (Polish pierogi, Belgian steak fries, German soft pretzel knots)
- Asia (Burmese deviled eggs, Vietnamese crepe)
- Africa (South African lamb kebabs)
- (Just to name a few!)
It was really exciting to even see twists on Filipino classics:
- Lumpia with chili-mango ground pork, mango salad, and cilantro chutney
- Duck Adobo with coconut rice, atchara, and fried duck egg
The lumpia wasn't on the prefixed menu, but I had to get it. It was delicious! The meat tasted just like home, but the twist with the mango salad and cilantro chutney was amazingly refreshing. And I loooove cilantro.
First Course: Laotian Duck Larb
Duck leg confit, sticky rice, cucumber, Laotian herb pesto, lime
This was my first time having confit, and anything Laotian, so I had no idea what to expect. The duck had a strong flavor of salt and spice, and the cucumbers were necessary to balance that out (along with lots of water). The taste was great, but I generally prefer sauces with meat and this was relatively dry. I didn't finish this course (a theme throughout the meal) but still liked it!
Second Course: Macademia-encrusted Red Snapper
Purple sweet potato puree, mango, coconut-papaya salad, taro chips, passionfruit reduction
I was pretty full by this point (blame the water from the confit) but kept trying to power through. These were more flavors I'd never had; the sweet potato was really good. I wasn't the biggest fan of the sweet potato texture but I always like starch with a meal. The salad was pickled, which I didn't expect, and it was very good. The taro chips were a great texture in addition with the macadamia crust on the fish.
Dessert: Normandy-style Roasted Apple Cake
Golden raisins, chevre buttercream, Calvados-vanilla bean ice cream, fried sage, cider reduction
I needed some sweet to round out the meal and this hit the spot. The ice cream was my favorite part of the entire meal! The cake is a dense one, but it's not too sweet (my kind of dessert). The raisins add a nice texture and flavor to the dish as well.
Overall, I would come back to Buku. It's definitely a place with dishes I couldn't recreate without spending a ton on fancy ingredients and taking some cooking classes. It's great to see a place that has such a wide variety of dishes from all over the world; it's like traveling to different countries all in one night!