Hubert is the underground escape we never knew we needed.
Walk through the large wooden doors and leave behind the rest of the world as you transport to a glamorously romantic post-war Europe. Descend the spiralled staircase that is lined with thousands of miniature liquor bottles and find yourself in the basement of French restaurant, Hubert. The wooden-panelled walls enclose deep red drapes, dazzling fringe lamps that give off a rosy glow and hanging lights that stop you for a moment while your eyes adjust to the warm yellow light. They channel off into smaller bars, a private upstairs dining area and a 100-seat theatre which is rumoured to screen films in the near future.
Helmed by Jason Scott and brothers Anton and Stefan Fortre from the Swillhouse Group (the team behind Baxter Inn, Frankie’s Pizza and Shady Pines), they welcome their first foray into fine dining as they they bring us this utterly unique space. Hubert manages to differentiate itself from the rest of Sydney’s clustered food scene with its attention to detail; tall candlesticks on each table, the French swing music and Sinatra playing in the background and a certain ambience that is difficult to maintain in a room that is completely empty as we arrive at exactly 12pm for lunch.
Chef Dan Pepperell of 10 William Street is in the hidden kitchen, skillfully turning French bistro classics that would normally run the risk of being dire, into jaw-dropping marvels. For lunch there is a set menu ($75 per person) which includes four entrees to share, and a main. There is an option to add on additional items; cheese, dessert or seared foie gras or yabby to your main.
To begin they brought out their house-made bread and cultured butter. Its exterior was crusty and its insides soft and warm. Paired with the extra salty butter it had us eagerly anticipating what else was to come. The first of our four entrees to share was the scallop crudo, with shiso and cucumber. Served in the shell, the beautifully fresh scallops with the bitterness of the shiso mint and the refreshing pop of the cucumber made for a great start.
The onion and turnip gratin with caramelised cream and parmesan was full of bold and deliciously rich flavours that seemed as if they would be hard to beat, and were only surpassed by the pulled curd with anchovy fillet. As someone who enjoys the saltiness of anchovy, this dish was a standout. The creaminess and freshness of the curd, something which is hard to come by out of Europe, was incredible. With the anchovy and the tomato vinaigrette, this was certainly one of the more favoured entrees. The leek mimosa was disappointingly left in the shadows of the other dishes. The sifted egg yolk was an interesting idea, however the flavour of the leek was oddly sour so we left half the dish on the plate.
The steak at Hubert has become one of the my favourites in Sydney and easily the knock out dish of the whole meal (although I could’ve eaten two more baskets of that house-made bread). 250g Rangers Valley flat iron with bordelaise butter – it was cooked perfectly, was tender and melted in your mouth.
Generous, knowledgeable and humorous, the servers at Hubert know how to work the floor and definitely create the dining experience just as much as the food does. They were more than accommodating when I asked if they could write down the entrees for reference, printing off a personalise take home menu for me.
A deeply sumptuous Parisian-esque experience, Hubert is where you come if you love romance, history and the theatre of dining out. Now open and taking bookings for lunch, it’s a great place for corporates looking for an impressive dining experience to take clients. A place where you can be in an out within an hour and half, or sit and enjoy a lengthy meal, Hubert should be on everyone’s lists.
(02) 9232 0881
15 Bligh Street, Sydney
Mon-Fri 12pm-3pm, 5pm-1am, Sat 5pm-12am