The team at Buku is bringing their global street food concept to a whole new audience in Wake Forest! Why Wake Forest? Co-owner Todd Ohle lives in the charming and fast-growing town of Wake Forest and felt the Northernmost Wake County area was in need of a new restaurant concept. There’s certainly no other restaurant in Wake Forest quite like Buku!
Though the space shares the same contemporary, modern look as its original Raleigh location, the Wake Forest location is much brighter in terms of lighting and overall feel. The western-facing windows fill the restaurant with natural light and show off a beautiful view of the sunset. Get closer to the view by asking for a table on the patio. Heaven on a warm summer evening, I’m sure!
The new restaurant is just under 5,000 square feet. Buku’s capacity inside is 165 guests, and another 100 on the patio. The new hotspot also has a private dining room that can accommodate a party of up to 40 guests. Buku tells us that they have hired 40+ people so far. The restaurant is open 7 days a week, featuring brunch on Saturdays and Sundays.
” Global cuisine allows us to explore anywhere in the world. It gives our chefs the autonomy to play with food that they might not normally get the chance to in other restaurants. Our signature Global Street Food menu is a new type of dining, designed for the type of mix & match tasting and plate-sharing that sparks conversation… We are a locally owned and operated restaurant that opened to fill a growing niche in the Triangle — a place where people with different backgrounds and nationalities can come to eat something familiar, while at the same time, locals can try something they’ve never had before.
– Todd Ohle, Co-Owner at Buku
Buku in Wake Forest is the third restaurant for partners Sean Degnan, Tony Hopkins and Todd Ohle, who is a long-time resident of Wake Forest. The Chef is Andrew Smith, and Emily Phelps is the General Manager at the new restaurant. The three partners also recently opened Soca Cocina Latina – a Caribbean, Central & South American inspired restaurant plus craft cocktail bar over in Cameron Village in early 2017 which has also become a local hotspot in that part of Raleigh.
Buku Is A Foodie Adventure Around the World
Buku’s diverse menu is inspired by food found in the pushcarts of street vendors all around the world. When I inquired about what was on the Wake Forest menu that wasn’t on the menu in Raleigh, I was informed that the menus are actually quite different. Each restaurant features different dishes. There are a few similar items with variations. For example, both menus feature a Hot Pot, but the location in Raleigh makes it with roasted chicken, while the Wake Forest location makes it with duck.
Dinner at Buku is a global adventure for foodies. You can enjoy Asian-inspired dishes, such as Korean BBQ Bibimbap and Vietnamese Pho. Get a taste of India with an order of Samosa Chaat. Savor the flavor of the Philippines with some Filipino Kinilaw. If you aren’t up for a trip around the world, you can enjoy a homegrown NC Grass Fed NY Strip!
The dishes at Buku are meant to be shared. For two people, I recommend ordering three or four dishes. Be sure to save room for dessert, though. I tried the Matcha Cookies & Crème, and it is truly one of the best desserts I’ve ever tasted. It includes raspberry-ube panna cotta, matcha ice cream, black sesame macarons, matcha cookies, and dried raspberries. Not only did it taste amazing, but the textures were also a treat as well. It was definitely the perfect way to end a meal!
Buku’s Promising Future In The Triangle
It’s definitely an exciting time for the team at Buku! The new location enables the owners to introduce their passion for global street fare to a new crowd. Ohle plans to continue with the popular Friday Night Flights event in Wake Forest, where customers can try a flight of unique wine features. Speaking of oenophiles, I have even better news: Buku will be working with Wine & Beer 101 on some excellent wine dinners. The first one is scheduled for May 22. The menu is TBA, but we are sure it’s going to be amazing. Follow Buku’s Facebook page for details about all upcoming wine dinners.
Buku is already making quite a splash onto the Wake Forest restaurant scene. It is sure to be just as successful, if not more so, than its predecessor. Meanwhile, Downtown Raleigh’s Buku is on the lookout for new digs. Its lease is up in the Red Hat building. Fortunately, there are many awesome locations throughout the Raleigh area that would love to welcome the well-established restaurant that has a loyal following.
The name “bu•ku” comes from an international slang twist on the phrase, “Merci, beaucoup,” meaning, “Thank you, very much.”
New Buku Will Delight All Your Senses
Inspired by the pushcarts of street vendors in cities across the globe, we harvest an array of unique and distinct flavors and present them authentically in a virtual kaleidoscope of plates. The common link being, these are foods that people love.
Working within different regional traditions, our menu brings together complex and flavorful dishes that have been honed over generations. Foods like our Peruvian Hokkaido Diver Scallop Tiradito, Empanadas, and Indian Aloo Chana Chaat can be found on the street corners of Lima, Oaxaca, and Delhi. These are foods that have been shared and developed in their communities for hundreds of years. At bu•ku, we strive to convey the immediate thrill a traveler feels as these foods first cross over the cart and exchange hands into the urban setting.
Our Global Street Food menu is a new type of dining, designed for the type of mix & match tasting and plate-sharing that sparks conversation. We are a locally owned and operated restaurant that opened to fill a growing niche in the Triangle; a place where people with different backgrounds and nationalities can come to eat something familiar, while at the same time, locals can try something they’ve never had before.
So what are some of your favorite menu items at Buku’s new location in Wake Forest? Please be sure to hit us up on Twitter @919BlogNC or visit our Facebook page at FB.com/919Blog and let us know! We would love to hear from ya.
This post was created in collaboration with the Wake Forest Blog editorial team and 919 Blog contributor Amy Howard for exclusive digital publication via TBN