Buku Raleigh

 The foodies hit the road to the Triangle this weekend to meet with dear friends who love food as much as we do.  And they were game enough to agree to take on a most adventurous way to eat…Global Street Food…at Buku.  Buku (my screen won’t let me make it all cute with the dot in between bu and ku) uses the inspiration of pushcart vendors around the globe and brings it all under one roof.  You can travel the world sitting at your table in a very cool, downtown setting with a great bar, decor and ambiance.  It’s an interesting way to eat…some appetizers and small plates that are great for individuals and some are sharable. Love to eat this way!  Ask your server to be your tour guide.  Entrees are good portions and also quite sharable.  There were 6 adults at our table and 4 children and we tried A LOT of things so I think this time around it might be best to just throw the pics in and briefly describe all of them.  When we say Global food, we mean it. It’s everything from Naan bread and yogurt spread and Pita and hummus to lamb meatballs, pierogies, pretzels, empanadas and full spread of sushi, and also entrees.  We tried a little bit of everything. Let’s go global, shall we?


Pita and Garlic Hummus         Naan Bread, yogurt raita        Pretzel knots

All delicious first courses.  See, we’re already expanding our horizons. Ready for more?


Empanadas Picantes                 Empanadas (not spicy)          Pork Dumplings


Hawaiian Tuna Poke                Pierogis                                 Moroccan Kefta


PEI Mussels                          Viet Cucumber Salad              Braised short rib

Let’s talk about a few of these. My favorites were the Empanadas Picantes, which had a little more kick than the original.  But I also loved my Tuna Poke. It was like a light, delicious tuna tarter stacked with wontons and veggies.  The pierogis were also delicate and wonderful.  Kefta was spicy with a lingering kick.  Be ready for some heat but they were so good. And the sake braised short rib tasted like it should, homey…like it was cooked a long time and got all thick and gravy-like.  I didn’t get to try much Naan and Pita. Why? The kids ate it, so it must’ve been good…but the hummus and raita were excellent.  Did I mention I LOVE LOVE LOVE to eat like this? Just noshin’!


Mexican grilled corn      Frenched Chicken breast       American Red Snapper

The grilled corn was for the kids so it’s missing it’s pretty toppings, the chicken was beautiful and our friend said he enjoyed it.  The Snapper was wonderful, light and cooked Indonesian style with tamarind and Thai seasonings.  It paired wonderfully with the unfiltered chilled Saki (if you’d like the complete Asian experience).  Thank you, Joanne, for the artsy presentation. 🙂  Now for dessert!


Tiramisu                           Trilogy of Creme Brûlée           Filipino Halo Halo

These pictures just make me happy.  We ordered the Tiramisu, which is served “en vace” with an espresso anglaise.  And my friends ordered the creme brûlée.  The chef sent us the Halo Halo because…well, just because. And as you can see, it’s so beautiful and it was awesome.  That is a purple sweet potato ice cream. It’s a parfait of coconut custard, sweetened plantains, guava sauce, coconut meat…heaven I tell you and I could taste “the islands”.  They also brought over their chef’s selections of 6 sorbets which included a variety of sweet and citrusy sorbets, one of which was grapefruit and another cinnamon.  A few at my table determined the sorbets were their favorite of the 3 desserts.

Buku is very popular and has been voted one of Raleigh’s best.  It’s easy to get carried away and find sticker shock at the end of the meal because you find yourself ordering 2 of something for the table but you can get out of there without breaking the bank because many of the options are very affordable.  The service and management are top notch.  The ingredients are fresh, sustainable and they go great with a selection of hand-crafted beer, wine and libations.  The regular menu stays pretty much unchanged but they do offer some cool specials like Balsamic lamb shank and Pork Belly Bacon Cheese Burger, oh my!  If you are ever in the Capital City, it’s definitely worth a visit to this global showcase of goodies.

110 East Davie Street, Raleigh, NC


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