The door to Bar Margaux is plain and just says “MGX”, but when it opens you’re met with a vibrant buzz of music and chatter. The space is designed to evoke a late-night, New York-inspired French bistro. Whether you’re arriving at 4pm to start your night or finishing up at 5am Sunday morning, the room won’t feel too different.
The menu is unashamedly French and all about the classics such as steak tartare, escargot (snails in lots of garlic and Pernod butter), and soupe à l’oignon. The latter features rich beef stock, five-hour caramelised onions, and a slice of baguette with melted Gruyere on top – decadent enough to share. The burger here comes with two Wagyu patties, bacon, organic cheese, and a bordelaise sauce (bone marrow, shallots, port and a lot of pepper) on a milk-brioche bun. Desserts are also traditionally French, with tarte mousse au chocolat, crème brûlée and a soufflé du jour so puffy you’ll get almost as much pleasure watching the ice-cream sink into the cloud as you will eating it.
From midnight to close, a shorter supper menu kicks in, but there’s also the addition of a croque monsieur filled with rotisserie lobster, curry beurre fondue (a butter emulsion) and Comté to the list.
Their cocktails lean toward the classics. You can get a “snack size” (half serve) Martini or Manhattan for $12, and a mini beer in the form of a 210-millilitre Miller High Life. The wine list offers a good mix of French drops and locally made French varietals, with everything available by the glass. Prices start at $13 for a glass of 2017 La Cuvée des Copains grenache, and go up to $50 for a glass of NV Krug Grande Cuvée champagne.