Bridge Bon Appétit
The long bridge above Hubert’s dining room was never meant to be anything other than a thoroughfare for people going to the theatre. Now it’s a bar and kitchen.
Besides sharing the same heavy wood door on Bligh Street, Bridge Bon Appétit is a totally separate venture from Hubert, both by the Swillhouse Group.
From the bridge, Hubert’s din is pleasantly muffled. The seating consists of high stools at two parallel counters on opposite sides of the bridge. Forty-five seats, a combined bar and kitchen, and a wine cool room – which holds the two venues’ vast collection of more than 550 wines – fit in the space.
Because the menu is small, Bridge Bon Appétit is a space to experiment with new dishes. Offerings start light and move to bigger dishes. There is oysters mignonette, and Le Petit Roe Boats, featuring three types of salmon roe served in a barquette (boat-shaped pastry). On the substantial end, there’s a rich caviar omelette and pot-au-feu.
As one might expect from a Swillhouse bar, the all-natural wine list is extensive. The cocktail list features the Truffled Flip, a drink that’s egg-nog-like in viscosity, made with a truffled duck egg that’s blended, shell and all, with cognac and crème de cacao. The Caper is beverage manager James Irvine’s interpretation of a dirty Martini.
Decor is dark, but in a cosy rather than cold way. Vintage European postcards bought from collectors adorn the walls. Remarkably, the kitchen and bar occupy the same small space. All the cooking is done on a pair of hot plates, and the pass is a stainless-steel island in the centre of the bar.