THE PROPAGANDA CLUB, Adelaide
On a number of occasions, I’ve found myself needing a place to have a quality late night feed – somewhere where the kitchens don’t close by 9:30pm. From the phone calls I’ve made in the past, I’ve discovered such options in Adelaide are few and far between. Enter The Propaganda Club, the new supper club hidden under Regent Arcade (entry from Grenfell Street) where the kitchen stays open until 6:00am – that’s even later than Ying Chow!
The Propaganda Club is Adelaide’s new late night supper club – the only one of its kind in Adelaide, opened by night owls Wendy and Petar Belosevic, owners of Zhivago night club. Inspired by the supper clubs in Melbourne and Sydney, they wanted Adelaidians to be able to share a similar experience. The concept is a sophisticated, old world glamour dining and lounge experience and the space has been decked out with parquetry floor, glitzy chandeliers, mirrors and booth seating. It’s divided into three different areas – the Manhattan Room, the Soho Lounge and the Sidecar Bars.
I was grateful to be invited by The Propaganda Club to sample some of the food offerings and cocktails (now there’s an offer I couldn’t refuse!) The Executive Chef is James Lawrie who’s a local and has worked at establishments including Windy Point Restaurant and Hill of Grace. He’s devised a menu based around share plates and local SA produce – Appetisers/Snacks, Small Plates, Large Plates and Sweet Plates, oh, and I mustn’t forget to mention the Giaveri Siberian caviar for $195!
We were seated in the formal dining area, a classy space with comfy plush booth seating and a long communal table down the centre underneath three chandeliers that have a hint of rose gold colouring. The first thing to come out was the Caraway Seed Ciabatta and some olives from the Fleurieu Peninsula. The bread was warm and light in texture and the crust was thin and extremely crisp. We were then brought a really good Steak Tartare with super crunchy toast, a sexy oozy quail egg yolk (revealed by lifting the shell) and smoked paprika. I eat Steak Tartare quite a bit as my partner loves it. This one rates pretty highly – Australian fillet steak from The Murraylands – a generous portion, good for sharing between two.
In good contrast, out came the colourful beetroot dish – Roasted beetroot, beetroot puree and Persian feta. What the menu description doesn’t include is the roasted onion, strips of heirloom carrot, slivers of radish and tomatoes. The beetroots came in different sizes and colours. This was an earthy textural dish full of antioxidant goodness.
We knew we had dessert coming but we still felt a little bit peckish so we ordered a half dozen of Smoky Bay oysters that come three ways – natural, lemon sorbet and vinaigrette. Beautiful. We were then both presented with a serve of Vanilla Catalana, orange and cinnamon, and we had a serve each. If we weren’t full before, we certainly were after this. A creamy rich custard underneath the layer of hard caramel. It featured three types of citrus – lemon through the custard and on top were fresh orange segments and pieces of freeze-dried mandarin. There was a slight bitterness that balanced out the sweetness really nicely. You could probably share one between two, it’s so rich.
The cocktails on offer are classics with a contemporary twist, quite a few being brandy or gin-based. Plus, they’re the first in Adelaide to make use of the Four Pillars Shiraz Gin that I enjoyed in my ‘Florodora’. It’s a bit of a different list to what you normally see and we found ourselves wanting to try a few of them. Between us we also tried the ‘Airmail’, ‘Old Fashioned’, ‘Negroni’, and ‘Martini’ with citrus. Needless to say, I was very glad I wasn’t driving that evening.
The staff were great – our waitress Emily really looked after us, Rob the bartender was knowledgeable and friendly, and the lovely chef Millie came out and spoke to us about the food and was keen to get our feedback.
The Propaganda Club is the sort of place where you can settle into for the long haul – and why not? It’s got everything you could possibly need. Start with a drink at the bar, move into the dining room for a feed, then afterwards, head on over to the lounge until the wee hours.