L’Hotel Gitan is the culmination of a long-held family dream to open a gastropub. If you live in Melbourne and love French food, you’ve likely heard of the Reymond family – they are hospitality royalty.
Together, the family ran Jacques Reymond’s fine dining and eponymous restaurant for more than two decades. In 2011 they reunited to open the ever-popular French restaurant, Bistro Gitan, in South Yarra. For their newest venture, the family has opened a sister restaurant by way of a gastropub in Prahran.
L’Hotel Gitan opened its doors in November 2014 with Edouard and Antoine Reymond managing all front of house operations. With help from Jacques, Head Chef, Adam Smith, leads the busy and charismatic kitchen.
The word gitan means gypsy in French and was chosen to highlight the broad European influences in the menu. Every plate focuses on high quality seasonal cuisine; you won’t find traditional pub fare here. Ingredients are sourced locally whenever possible. The beef arrives from Cape Grim, berries hail from the Yarra Valley and mushrooms are grown locally.
Expect exotic dishes such as the duck liver parfait, fragrant wild groper and three-pepper duck magret, along with a selection of beef cuts. Complement your main dish with a side of delicious pomme frites or a gratin dauphinois. The exciting and ever-changing specials board is one to keep your eye on too.
While L’Hotel Gitan offers a small selection of beer, the beverage focus is on the extensive wine list. You’ll find Australian and international wines in the form of red, white, rose, sherry and aperitifs, and that’s just to name a few.
L’Hotel Gitan occupies the iconic Hotel Max building on Commercial Road in Prahran. The site has been home to pubs continuously since the 1850s, with the current building dating from 1939. After some extensive renovations, it was the perfect location for this venture. The slick venue now features a casual bar area with high tables and a fireplace, a bistro with banquette seating, an outdoor terrace with awnings and an upstairs event space.
The most striking feature of the pub is the beautiful open kitchen with a rotisserie sitting front and centre. Patrons are able to witness the immense work and passion going into preparing every single plate.
Prahran has always had the reputation of being a foodie hub, with a vibrant and diverse community that embraces quality cuisine and venues. There is no doubt L’Hotel Gitan has found the perfect home and the Reymond family has taken pub fare to a whole new level.