Hubert’s grand wooden front door and cavernous interiors give the impression you’re walking into a vintage speak-easy. But this places offers so much more than just a hidden underground parlour. Seven rooms include two bars, dining rooms and a somewhat unexpected old-school theatre, used for talks, masterclasses and private functions. All spaces follow a similar theme, reflecting postwar France, with low ceilings, dim lighting and dark, worn timber chairs and tables.
A tattered grand piano sits on a low stage among diners in the Beatrix Dining Room, and deep-red leather booths are the main focus of the Chester Lounge. Upstairs, a collection of nearly 4000 miniature spirit bottles lines the stairwell; and Bar Normandy displays an enormous wall of wine. There are no windows. Instead, dozens of vintage prints crowd the walls, adding to the intimate and exclusive feel.
As for the menu, expect updated French classics such as roasted snails in XO sauce, Wagyu tartare with classic condiments, and Wollemi Duck a l’Orange. There’s also a grill section involving steaks from formidable names in beef, plus a selection of raw seafood and French charcuterie. Desserts range from crème caramel to soufflé.
Live jazz in the main dining room is a permanent fixture. As you sip on Martinis to the sounds of Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack, sooner or later you’ll forget it’s the 21st century.