In a city as expensive as Sydney, it's wise to take advantage of happy hour to eat and drink. At Bar Pincer, at Restaurant Hubert, there is a neat bar food and drink menu. Go underground where it's always night time!
Sofia and I unwittingly stumbled upon the happy hour at Bar Pincer purely by accident. We had both dined at Restaurant Hubert when it first opened but never eaten at the bar. One afternoon we hoped into an uber and made our way across the city to the subterranean and darkly lit restaurant. Arriving at 3.55pm we have our pick of bar tables and they offer us the comfy corner and the aperitif menu. "You're just in time for happy hour!" they tell us. Serendipity...
The aperitif menu goes from 4-6pm. The website shows the regular bar menu from 3-5pm but that doesn't kick in until 5pm which is slightly confusing. I order a gin and tonic and Sofia orders a negroni. We also order our favourite picks from the aperitif menu: the devilled eggs, parfait and Normandy burger. There are other items like olives, zucchini flowers and pickles but we bypass those.
A devilled egg is one of those delightfully retro items that I love. The devilled egg has just a little bit of spice and a creamy, light yolk centre. I'll have a dozen more please.
The parfait is a dream, with a maple syrup jelly and a super crunchy anchovy toasts. Although it is a thin slice, it goes a long way because of its richness. Service is great and they offer to bring more toasts.
The Normandy burger has a luscious dry aged beef patty, melted gruyere, dill pickles and a mustardy sauce Hubert. The bun is warm, the cheese lusciously melted and the whole thing is comfortingly good. And for $10 it is an absolute steal and worth skipping work for (or scheduling a meeting there, we are not the only ones that do that judging from the crowd that filled the space by 4:10pm).
We're too busy talking and by now it's after 5pm so we can still order more food from the aperitif menu but having exhausted all the options we want, we go for the main bar menu. The malakoff is a rounded disc of breaded and deep fried gruyere cheese served on a creamy Dijon mustard sauce with two slices of dill pickle. Sofia cuts it open and the cheese oozes out slowly like lava, causing us to lustily watch it do its thing.
But we both had eyes for the escargot with XO sauce. The slippery little suckers are given such a wonderful boost of flavour from the Chinese XO sauce that is strong in dried scallops. The only thing missing is some sliced, warmed bread which they bring with a quick nod of the head. We mop up the flavoured oil and remaining XO sauce.
There's no sweet dessert although there is a selection of cheese to choose from. But for us the night is young!
So tell me Dear Reader, do you often take advantage of happy hour? What is your favourite establishment for it? And what is your drink of choice?
This meal was independently paid for.
Restaurant Hubert 15 Bligh St, Sydney NSW 2000
Monday to Wednesday 4pm–1am
Thursday and Friday 12–3pm, 4pm–1am