Hervé’s Restaurant & Bar
Hervé’s is a softly lit 80-seat restaurant and bar serving up French-inspired fare, with a focus on produce from Queensland’s coast. It’s the combined vision of Hervé Dudognon (former Howard Smith Wharves food and beverage director), his wife Cristina Dudognon and their business partner David Lyons.
But blink and you might walk right past that vision: Hervé’s is quietly tucked away at the back end of Craft’d Grounds’ first floor. Pass through an iron gate on Tate Street and ascend an open staircase to find its two sections: a cosy bar area on one side and a vibrant restaurant on the other. The venue is a stunner, retaining the industrial bones of its 100-year-old timber mill premises and creating an inviting space of terrazzo bars and countertops, textured walls, original wooden floors and handsome banquette seating.
The restaurant space is defined by a fabulous open kitchen where the husband-and-wife team of Chris and Alex Norman, executive chef and executive pastry chef respectively, work at a low-set counter, helping them engage with the dining room. The southern side of the restaurant is constructed almost entirely out of glass, flooding the venue with natural light during the day and at sunset. The entire restaurant has a homely feel.
The Normans’ menu is relatively tight, with a high-fidelity focus on local produce. There might be crab caught by Fraser Isle Spanner Crabs and served with rock melon, pomelo and jamon; Mooloolaba tuna loin with a tomato consommé and jus de cacao; and coal-grilled Moreton Bay bug finished with a mornay foam and piment d’espelette (a rare variety of chilli). Alex Norman leverages her ambassador role with Valrhona Chocolate to create a dessert menu that might include organic Madagascar single-origin chocolate paired with vanilla-husk ice-cream and Pedro Ximenez-soaked golden sultanas.
For drinks, there’s a 150-bottle wine list that features smaller winemakers from all over the world, with a page dedicated to Corsican wines imported by Dudognon.
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