Imagine an underground venue in the heart of the legal and financial district in Sydney, that’s part restaurant, part bar, part theatre, and you have Restaurant Hubert at 15 Bligh St Sydney. The people behind the venture are Jason Scott and Anton Forte from the Swillhouse Group, with chef Dan Peperell in the kitchen. If you’ve been to Frankie’s Pizza or Shady Pines you will be familair with the quirky style of the Swillhouse Group. I love Frankie’s Pizza and have blogged about it here.
Hubert feels like walking back in time into a slightly decadent, old fashioned French restaurant. The decor alone is moody and seductive…dim lighting, dark corners and intmate booths, lots of period pieces. A great place for an “amour rendez-vous”…love tryst…or just a casual get together with friends.
I had several reasons to celebrate with my colleague Ms R, as we dined together on this particular evening. In our booth, adjacent to the Bar Normandy, we perused the excellent wine list from a leather bound tome, the title page of which is pictured here.
We began with a delightful sparkling from the Loire, moved on to a fresh and fruit sauvignon blanc from Tasmania and finished with a refined Muscadet dessert wine. All perfectly suited our dinner choices. The menu is based around the sharing of plates, small and large.
We started off with crusty bread – I’m presuming sourdough – and cultured butter. We shared a couple of small dishes: anchovy pain perdu, a wonderfully soft and flavoursome “eggy” bread and the Malakoff – a deep fried Gruyere cheese ball with Dijon mustard and pickle. Of the two, my fav was the latter – very cheesy, very oozy…yum. Our large plate (note only one – we were saving room for dessert) was the Bavette steak, flank steak cooked pink, with bordelaise butter. We had a dish of creamed spinach, to accompany it as well as a salad. Sadly I can’t remember what the salad was. Hmm. Must take notes in future! The steak was my least favourite dish. I’m not overly fond of tougher cuts of beef cooked À la Minute, the result is sometimes chewy.
There were just 3 desserts on the menu, and a cheese platter. The Santa Claus melon with finger lime, sorrel jelly and young coconut sorbet, sounded intriguing. What is a Santa Claus melon?? But we decided to go down a more traditional path with the creme caramel and le grand macaron – a giant macaron filled with rice cream and raspberries. I ate the latter, and it’s fair to say I haven’t yet met the dessert that could beat me, but this one came close on size alone! Both desserts are pictured here.
The service was lovely, attentive without being intrusive. The wait staff were young and hip. We really felt looked after with the VIP service.
Judging by the way the venue had filled up by 7.00pm, other Sydney-siders were appreciative of this amazing restaurant too. Sydney needs more places like Hubert – great French food, stunning venue and a lovely mix of authentic cooking mixed with a theatrical presentation. Well done!