One thing you should know about me is that I am a lover of small plates or anything shareable. If there’s any way I can try multiple different dishes without feeling like I’m going to explode of fullness, I’m going to do it. That is why I love restaurants that offer small plates, like buku. After trying and loving buku’s sister restaurant Soca, I was very excited to try buku’s new Wake Forest location and get my hands on all the small plates my heart desired. Our server explained to us that buku takes street food from around the world and gives it a twist. So you will find things like steamed buns, pierogi, ceviche, and empanadas on the menu, all with their own buku flare.
As I walked into buku’s new Wake Forest location, I was pleasantly surprised with how large the space was. With a huge bar area, plus a spacious dining room and a patio dining area, there was no shortage of seating options. We were seated in a comfy booth in the dining room and promptly greeted by our server who told us all about the menu and some of her favorite dishes. We opted to get four small plates and share one large plate. That, plus dessert was the perfect amount of food to leave us feeling satisfied, but not overly stuffed. My boyfriend and I both started our meal with a drink; for him a Belgian beer, and for me the Bourbon Street ($11). My cocktail consisted of Bulleit Bourbon, pineapple, burnt sugar, orange, vanilla, lime, and Angostura. If you’re a bourbon lover, but want something a little more light and sweet, this is a great choice. When it came time for food, we started with the Spanakopita Salad ($8), which was made of kale, feta, marcona almonds, roasted red peppers, and ramp vinaigrette, and topped with some filo dough. This was a nice, light, yet flavorful start to the meal. Next, we moved on to the Pan de Yuca ($6). They serve a similar dish at Soca that I really enjoyed, so I was excited to try this one. The dish was similar, but this one was stuffed with pepper jack cheese and served with Serrano butter. The pepper jack gave it a nice kick, without being too spicy, and the bread itself was extremely soft. This dish was so simple, yet it was one of my favorites of the evening. Next, we got the Pierogi ($9), which was stuffed with muenster, goat cheese, sweet potato and brown butter, and topped with sauerkraut, walnuts, and crème fraiche. Again, this was one of my favorite dishes. I was worried the sweet potato filling would be too mushy, but it was perfect. It added a unique sweetness to this savory dish. Our final small plate was the classic Chinese Steamed Buns ($10). These were steamed buns filled with braised pork, hoisin, house pickles, and scallion. I love steamed buns but I think we can all agree that most restaurants seem to just buy the same steamed buns as everyone else. These tasted house-made, which made the dish even more delicious. After these small plates we decided we wanted a little more, so we shared the Pollo a la Brasa ($19) from the Large Plates section. This dish consisted of Joyce Farms airline chicken breast, smoked thigh, salsa verde, aji amarillo, charred corn salad, and tostones. The dish itself was presented beautifully, and I have no idea how they got the chicken to taste so juicy. The tostones and charred corn salad also added some exciting flavors, so that it didn’t feel like just another chicken dish. As if all this food wasn’t enough, we decided to get the Caramel Apple ($10) for dessert. This dessert consisted of caramelized apples, vanilla bean ice cream, apple spice cake, pomegranate compressed apples, almond streusel, and miso caramel. I loved all of the different types of apples in this dish, each of which brought a unique flavor to the plate. I though the cake itself was a little dry, but paired with the apples and ice cream it was very tasty.
Overall I loved our meal at buku Wake Forest. Just like their other restaurants, buku has a way of presenting their dishes beautifully, making each item feel special. I also love the concept of buku, because if you’ve ever travelled, you know street food in pretty much every culture is the way to go. So seeing a unique take on street food from around the world was a lot of fun. I can’t wait to go back to buku Wake Forest to try all of the other unique dishes they have to offer.
1228 Heritage Links Dr suite 100
Wake Forest, NC 27587
Note: From time to time we’re invited out to try a restaurant or to taste new menu items. This meal is usually comped, as this one was. We’re under no obligation to write a positive review or any review at all when we’re invited out to try a place. Every review you see on our site will be an honest review of the place whether or not the restaurant provided us with the meal at their cost.