My partner and I recently became engaged, and Restaurant Hubert, with its 15% public holiday surcharge, was where we chose to eat afterwards. Prices as mentioned in this post are as-paid inclusive of this surcharge, but even without this surcharge it looks from other places on the internet that prices at Hubert have risen a healthy 30% over the last few years.
I’ve been trying to stay away from alcohol recently, but from the single sip that I had I can confirm that this Campari Grapefruit ($17.25) was pretty fresh tasting.
We started our night with roe boats ($17.25 each) – expensive little pastry tarts topped with trout roe, sea urchin, and avruga. I enjoyed the thin, dual layered pastry as well as the oceanic flavours, with the sea urchin being particularly noteworthy with its unusual funky fungi like flavour. It was like tasting three different parts of the sea. Just a shame that it didn’t last.
The Pâté en Croûte ($31.05), a dense buttery but cold pastry baked around a similarly dense pork terrine, was up next. We battled our way through the interesting and varied textures of this dish, with no idea as to which part of the animal any particular mouthful or mouthfeel came from. Ultimately whilst the pastry flavour was just right, we felt that the terrine was too salty, and that while the dill pickle was nice and sour, its use was limited when paired with something that was already so flavourful. This is one dish that we just didn’t finish, and I would recommend avoiding this if you’re only dining as a party of two. There’s more variety to be experienced than to be so invested in the incredibly dense plate.
This Prime Beef Tartare ($33.35), made from wagyu topside, was just so fresh. The seasonings, including the included capers and pickles, reminded me of a raw cheeseburger, but not in a bad way. The mini French fries, fun as they were, made the dish a little bit difficult to eat, and furthered this cheeseburger (or should I say royale with cheese) motif. Though some past online reviewers have heaped criticism on this tartare, either it’s improved greatly in the intervening time or I just don’t have as refined a palate. Either way, it’s a recommendation from me.
My partner is known to enjoy a good potato, and though I wasn’t nuts for the Pommes Anna ($18.40), she loved it. These potato towers, cut with slices through them to maximise exposure to oil in the deep frying process, were cooked deliciously crispy on the outside with an appropriate remnant of moisture and softness on the inside. They came bathed in a beurre blanc sauce, and honestly what non cardiovascular related wrong has ever come from the combination of potato and butter?
This was my first time eating snail, and though I had some mild initial apprehension towards Hubert’s Escargot XO ($33.50) they turned out to be a reasonably soft introduction. The snails were a bit smaller, shrivelled up and tougher than I had imagined, with not a lot of inherent flavour, rather taking on the rather pleasant (though not very spicy at all) XO sauce. The XO sauce was particularly good with the bread.
The baugette and butter came with our order of escargot, but can also be purchased separately for $8. It may be that this was the first time that I had had bread in some time, but I absolutely loved it. It was just so good. The crust to middle-bread ratio was optimal due to its size. The bread was dense near its crust but also inside. The butter was salty, dense, heavy, and just right. We both enjoyed eating the bread with the sauce from the pommes anna as well as the escargot’s XO sauce.
The Mille-Feuille ($32.20) was alright, but represented pretty poor value considering it was essentially the same price as the tartare or escargot and was a mere dessert.
We had been meaning to eat at Hubert for some time, and our dinner did not disappoint. I did feel that overall the food was a little bit too salty for my taste (except for the bread), though this was more a problem for our waiter who had to be constantly back and forth with the water. Though some have complained, we had no problem with the 90 minute seating, as we were hungry enough to scoff down all of our dishes within the prescribed time limit. The presence of live jazzy music was definitely a point of difference, though I think the very fact that such a large and grand subterranean space could exist at all in the Sydney CBD, in a state of constant night, and with a single door as a point of ingress and egress is perhaps the most interesting part.
Would come back.
15 Bligh St, Sydney NSW 2000
(02) 9232 0881