Walking down the spiral stairs of Restaurant Hubert past thousands of miniature spirit bottles, you are transported into another world: the red drapes, candlelit tables, timber paneled walls and a baby grand piano catches my eye. It feels warm, romantic and full of character. It's hard to believe this used to be the site of a Chinese restaurant with a pagoda and a fishpond!
We started with the Ouefs en gelee, made with soft egg yolk, bonito jelly, trout roe and avruga. It's a rich, textural dish and had the umami flavours that are more commonly associated with Japanese dishes.
We couldn't go past the Duck liver parfait with maple syrup jelly. It was deliciously creamy and intense in flavour. The maple syrup jelly helped cut through the fattiness of the parfait. I simply couldn't stop eating it.
We were recommended by our waiter to order the Malakoff, it's everyone's favourite, we were told. It was hard to argue with that after taking a bit into the golden crust and being rewarded with a gooey ball of Gruyere cheese with a hint of mustard. Definitely one you don't want to share with too many people!
Just as impressive was the Steak tartare, a quintessential French dish. The wagyu topside had a great texture, mixed with the egg yolk, chives, capers and cornichons. It was topped by a generous mountain of fries.
For mains, the whole chicken or duck sounded tempting but a bit too big for our table of three, so we opted for the John Dory provencal. The basil and olive oil sauce was just simply outstanding and really the star of the dish, going perfectly with the poached John Dory fillets and the pippies.
The sides were just as impressive. The Pommes Anna is basically crispy layers of potato served with a buerre blanc sauce. It's hard not to love carbs when they're done like this!
We were intrigued by the Kimchi gratin and it did not disappoint. It packs a punch in terms of flavour and heat.
Onto desserts and we started with the Melon en surprise: a Santa Claus melon hollowed out melon balls with sorrel jelly, finger lime and young coconut sorbet. It's an incredibly refreshing dessert with a light sweetness and I loved the pop of the zesty finger limes.
Our second dessert was the Le Grand Macaron. The tartness of the raspberries was balanced by the sweetness of the rice cream and it was another joy to eat.
Hubert is a wonderful sensory experience and definitely lived up to the hype. I will definitely be back to try the Roast duck, of which they only have a limited quantity per day. Bookings are limited to group of 6+ but you can always take a seat at the bar whilst waiting for a table.
I had heard from my friend that the Canberra dining scene had up its game in recent times, with lots of modern, new restaurants popping up. One of them is Les Bistronomes, a French bistro located in Braddon in Canberra.
My friends and I shared an entree of a dozen escargots - it was not as garlicky as most escargots I had previously tried - instead, there was more of a parsley flavour accompanying them which I liked.
For main, I opted for the fish of the day, which was Spanish mackeral with clam, pickled vegetables and raspberry coulis. I don't think I have ever had raspberry in a savoury dish before so was eager to try it. I was very impressed - the fish was perfectly cooked, complete with crispy skin and the pickled vegetables were amazing - sometimes they can be quite sour and overpowering, but here, they were more subtle and gave the dish a real zing. The raspberry coulis not only added bold colour to the plate, it provided a nice contrast to the rest of the dish.
For dessert, we opted for the Passionfruit souffle which again was like art on a plate. I didn't know where to tart - there were so many elements to this dish. A white chocolate ball that when you crack open, oozes out a chilli and passionfruit syrup. The coconut ice cream was creamy and smooth, sitting amongst the sponge cake and the foam. And of course, the passionfruit souffle which is served in a passionfruit! The chilli is not too strong, and actually accentuates the tanginess and sweetness from the passionfruit. It's a very clever dessert. at
The standard of the food at Les Bistronomes is exceptional and the service was wonderful. Throughout the meal, I did get food envy looking at the dishes coming out of the kitchen - the Beef Wellington and the crème brulee looked divine. Two reasons to make a return visit!
Find me on instagram: