As you walk down the mostly barren streets of Grenfell Street late on a winter’s weeknight, there’s not much to see, nor much to do. It’s dark, it’s cold. You’re desperately searching for a warm escape from those icy winds – somewhere to relax into a cocktail or two. Your stomach is grumbling and you’ve barely eaten all day, but it’s too late at night for most restaurants to stay open, so you wander the streets in a somewhat futile pursuit.
All of a sudden, a sign appears lit up and reading: “The Propaganda Club”. Well now, this is new. You look to the side and notice a giant ceiling-to-floor wooden door that surely wasn’t there before and, as you hover closer, it unexpectedly opens in an oh-so dramatic manner. It feels as though a mysterious someone behind that door has been awaiting your arrival, just like in the movies.
Upon entry you are warmly greeted by a host behind a desk who then leads you down a large staircase and into the basement area. Downstairs is toasty and ever so cosy, yet rather large and roomy despite expectations. The walls are laden with sleek black windows against an off-white wall – a minimalist aesthetic that compliments the polished fitout rather fittingly. You’ve decided you’ll stay for dinner and a drink… and what a grand choice that was.
The Propaganda Club is one of Adelaide’s newest niche restaurant/bar establishments buried underneath Regent Arcade and offering a service first of its kind in Adelaide: a late night supper club. Complete with red velvet booth seating and sparkling crystal chandeliers, there’s no denying one senses an old world feel when inside this hidden gem.
We were afforded the chance to exclusively taste test the cocktail and dinner menu this week, trying a range of the small plates, desserts and a few of their delicious beverages on offer. After being seated in the sophisticated Manhattan Room, one of the main dining areas of The Propaganda Club, we were seen to immediately with recommendations and favourite picks; the staff were absolutely wonderful.
Our two cocktails chosen off of ‘The Propaganda Classics’ menu, the Florodora and Clover Club, came out promptly followed by in-house marinated olives as an on-arrival treat. Both cocktails infused a delicious raspberry and gin flavour which had us pining for summer again, with the main differences being the Florodora incorporates Shiraz and the Clover Club uses Instafoam for texture.
For dinner, we enjoyed four small plates inclusive of the Snapper Carpaccio, Caraway Seed Ciabatta, Braised Oxtail and Croquettes. The first and favourite to come out was the Snapper Carpaccio, which was just magnificent in taste and appearance. The ingredients were colourful and so photogenic, with a successful balance in all flavours using caper berries, shallot and dill. The attention to presentation detail was also downright astounding, featuring cute, little rings of onion delicately hanging on the ends of the caper berry stems! We could not recommend this dish enough.
The Braised Oxtail paired excellently with the Caraway Seed Ciabatta for a truly hearty winter treat. Served alongside Fino Sherry, spiced pickle and velvety mash potato, the flavours were rich and filling with the oxtail meat itself tearing oh so tenderly off of the bone. If it is a deeply satisfying belly-filler you’re after, we’d definitely suggest ordering this dish. Add the ciabatta as a side so you can use the bread to dip into the rich, leftover sauce!
We’re a sucker for croquettes at any time of the day, especially when they are made using porcini mushrooms and cheese! Naturally we were excited to try the croquettes The Propaganda Club had on offer, and we were certainly not left disappointed.
Just when we thought we could not eat any more, we are offered an exquisite dessert, Vanilla Catalana. Spiked with orange and cinnamon, this Spanish-style creme brulee was a heavenly end to our experience. The texture was perhaps the most satisfying aspect to this dish, with the initial crunch of the hard topping followed by the smooth texture of the rich custard base providing a tasteful contrast.
You can find The Propaganda Club located at Regent Arcade, 110 Grenfell St. Treat yourself and make a booking by calling the restaurant on (08) 8223 6411 or booking online here.