Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Restaurant Hubert, Sydney

The most visited and recommended restaurant this year has got to be Hubert. Based on social media praises and great reviews, it seems like they are not far off from being crowned "best Sydney restaurant" in 2016.

I paid them a visit a couple of months ago.  From the stairs leading down to the restaurant and upon entering the restaurant and bar premises, two things came to mind: grand and magical. The space and fit out is like a bar/club/restaurant straight out of a 1920s Paris period piece film setting. Just like what my dining companion Suze said "The fitout of Hubert is like nothing I've seen in Sydney". Head chef Dan Pepperell (ex-10 William St) is behind the food that has received raving reviews from many punters. We went to try their bar menu (see Suze’s blog post of their restaurant menu offerings) because of our mission: to try the Normandy burger.

One of the most popular dishes here is their Malakoff ($14), which is a half sphere shaped fried gruyere with mustard and pickle. We decided to order two of these because it’s that damn good that we didn’t want to share! From the crisped tasty shell down to the melted stretchy innards it was nothing short of amazing. The sharpness of mustard complimented the cheese well.

The steak frites ($28) is a classic steak and fries dish that consists of a beautifully cooked medium rare 200grams grilled Rangers Valley flank with bordelaise butter and French fries. It was phenomenal! It has to be the best steak and fries I’ve had to date. The bordelaise butter with its red wine and bone marrow goodness was perfect for the steak. The generous amount of thin hand cut fries was crunch and perfectly seasoned.
Normandy Burger
There are many great burgers in Sydney at the moment and Hubert’s Normandy burger ($24 with fries) is one of them. It’s a gourmet cheeseburger with grilled dry aged beef patty, melted gruyere cheese, generous amount of tangy and creamy sauce Hubert in a light brioche bun. It also came with dill pickles on the side. The beef patty was juicy and smoky with a caramelised crust that added extra umami to the burger. The soft light brioche bun used for the burger was the perfect vessel. The whole burger handled well too.

You can also order desserts at the bar area.

The crème caramel ($18) was good and flawless in technique but didn’t quite get there for me. I liked the bitter caramel and how smooth the egg custard was, but I would have preferred if the custard was a little bit sweeter. That way, you would get a nice contrast between the egg custard and caramel.

The melon en surprise ($22) was amazing and refreshing! I forgot take a photo of its innards but underneath the top layer of coconut sorbet you’ll find balls of Santa Claus melon, which has a similar taste to honeydew with pieces of sorrel jelly and finger lime. You need to order this when in Hubert.

Believe the hype! Restaurant Hubert is as great as everyone says it is. I will definitely be back for a sit down session at their restaurant area.

Restaurant Hubert
15 Bligh Street
Sydney NSW 2000
Operating hours:
Monday to Saturday 5pm-1am.
Restaurant Hubert Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Bar Ume, Surry Hills

Kerby Craig (Executive chef) is back along with head chef Jo (ex-chef and Pitmaster at Vic's Meat Market) and a new team. They are located at the same spot as Ume Restaurant but has rebranded the joint as Bar Ume.

It is now a casual Japanese themed bar that's generally a bar that includes a menu from Kerby's Ume Burger and daily/weekly Japanese snacks specials. I can't help but feel like I was transported back to Blacows at Ebisu. It has a bar/cafe/bistro vibe just like Blacows. The place still has most of Ume Restaurant's interior intact but with a few changes. Expect a good range of sake, wine and whisky. But I was there to smash burgers and fried chicken.
Koji fried chicken

The koji fried chicken ($9) is pieces of amazing karaage chicken! Each bite starts with a crisped coating and followed by a super succulent meat bursting with flavoursome juice consisting fruity and ginger notes from the shio koji marinade. The mayo was so addictive too. 
Double bacon cheeseburger

The double bacon cheeseburger ($20) is a well constructed classic burger with double wagyu beef patty, sexy melted double American cheese, crispy bacon, lettuce, onion, rice vinegar pickles and Ume's special sauce in a soft milk bun. The wagyu patty works well even if it was cooked almost well-done as it was still so juicy. The patty was also lightly seasoned so that it doesn't get overly flavoured along with the sauce. I prefer my burgers without the salad but the salad in this didn't bother me at all as it was quite minimal. This has gotta be the best "classic style" burger in Sydney at the moment.
Ebi burger

Their ebi burger ($15) tastes as perfect as it looks. I mean just look at it! It's so beatifully constructed! It consists of prawn katsu, Japanese tartare sauce and shredded cabbage in a soft milk bun. The prawn katsu patty was simply awesome with its golden-crisped crumb coating and perfectly cooked prawns.
Ume burger
The Ume burger is Kerby's take on a MOS cheeseburger. It's absolutely delicious and yes, it was full of umami. It was a cheeseburger on a league of its own. It had wagyu patty (the wagyu beef patty is covered under that mince sauce), wagyu mince sauce, melted cheese, mayo, tomato, onion and mustard in a soft sweet milk bun (sourced from a Japanese bakery). The wagyu patty was juicy and packed with flavour. The wagyu mince sauce was like a bolognese sauce but more sweet, which gave the burger extra character. The melted cheese, creamy sweet mayo, zingy mustard and crisp bite from the onions gave the burger familiar classic cheeseburger flavours. The tomato gave a nice balance to the whole burger.

I love the burgers at Bar Ume right now. They are all about perfection in simplicity and balance.

Bar Ume
478 Bourke Street
Surry Hills NSW
Opening hours
Monday to Saturday 11am to 11pm

Sunday 11am to 9pm
Bar Ume Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato