We all know about hidden bars, but what about hidden restaurants? Here are three of the best across Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide that are sure to impress your next dinner date.
Image: Leigh Griffiths
Tucked away behind a tennis club in Marrickville lies a secret portal to Portugal. The unassuming nature of Casa do Benfica has made it one of the city’s best-kept secrets. Devoid of any online presence (that’s right – you can’t even Google it or find it on Instagram) paired with a modest RSL-style décor means the tantalising flavours coming out of the kitchen are the sole reason word-of-mouth has spread like wildfire.
It’s the authentic Portuguese cooking that makes this restaurant a favourite for so many – evidenced by the many Portuguese expats who come here to enjoy old-fashioned cooking with generous home-style servings of grilled seafood, melt-in-your-mouth beef skewers and traditional molotof all at pocket-friendly pricing.
Image: Visit Victoria
Melbournians have most likely walked beneath The Melbourne Supper Club’s stunning picture window without realizing the jewel that hides behind it. This restaurant is a secret that’s almost too good to share. Hidden behind a non-descript door on Spring Street, those in-the-know ascend the stairs to an elegant hole-in-the-wall restaurant and bar with captivating views of Parliament.
The small space means there’s a strict capacity restriction, heightening the exclusivity and ensuring the venue is never overcrowded like copious other city haunts. It’s hard not to feel important here as you peruse a thick leather-bound wine menu and order moreish samples of freshly shucked oysters, caviar, foie gras and cheese platters.
Image: Mayflower Restaurant & Bar
Helmed by celebrity chef Bethany Finn, a regular on South Australia’s Sumptuous TV, the Mayflower isn’t exactly a secret, but it still ranks on our list because of its obscured location in the basement of the Mayfair Hotel.
Head down the glossy ribbon staircase and enter a world where 1930’s elegance melds with modern sophistication. Expect five-star service, extensive wine lists (with the Barossa Valley as a neighbor, it would be rude not to) and a creative menu featuring dishes like bisque en croute, steak tartare and the most decadent dessert trolley imaginable with delicate choux pastry swans, pineapple savarin and more.
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