L’Hôtel Gitan, the Reymond family’s next venture, is drawing nearer to opening. Jacques Reymond may have closed his 25-year-old eponymous restaurant and reportedly “retired” last year (even though he never claimed to), but that didn't stop him teaming up with wife Kathy, plus children Edouard, Antoine and Nathalie, to work on transforming the former Hotel Max in Prahran into a gastro pub.
“It’s always been a dream for the family to do something in a pub,” says Antoine. “For us, a pub is a good environment; it has everything – you can have a beer with friends, just a snack, or a full sit-down dinner.” Like Bistro Gitan, its nearby sister venue, L’Hôtel will focus on everyday French cuisine, while taking inspiration from neighbouring European countries.
Jacques himself designed the menu, which will take in rotisserie meats, pies-of-the-day, tapas-sized eats and a few updated pub classics. Former Jacques Reymond chef Adam Smith is set to head up the kitchen, assisted by two more sous chefs from the iconic fine-dining restaurant. “It’s a really good base,” Antoine says. “Everyone’s worked together, everyone’s on the same page, and they’re all young with good ideas.”
SJB Interiors designed the fit-out, which is dominated by off-white and charcoal, with copper and brass highlights around key areas such as the bars and open kitchen. “It’s such a beautiful old building with such a lot of character and history,” Antoine says. “All we’re trying to do here is retain that and build on it.”
L’Hôtel Gitan will open on November 28.
32 Commercial Road, Prahran