Thursday, December 8, 2011

Experiential restaurants - Mike's Table

Following on from my recent post about experiential retailing, Jodie and I had an amazing dining experience recently which sits firmly in the consumer trend towards experiences.

The creation of Mike McEnearney, ex head chef of Rockpool, Mike's Table is a once a fortnight pop up restaurant run every second Sunday in the beautiful Surry Hills French antique store Ici et La.

We arrived at Ici et La promptly at 7pm to be greeted by one of Mike's friendly team serving Proseco to start the night off. Moving inside we were blown away by the setup. Mike and the team rearrange and use some of the amazing antiques to set up a ~70 seat restaurant inside the store.

Mike came around and served the Hors d'oeuvres, Anchovy + Stewed Spring Onions on toast. *Delicious*. We were seated at a shared table and the environment encouraged us all to chat - something I've never experienced at another Sydney restaurant. We sat next to one of Mike's ex-colleagues from Rockpool and her partner, the owner of Ici et La, who's seat Marcel the French bulldog (who lives in Ici et La) would promptly take over whenever he got up and another couple who work in the advertising space who we got on so well with we've invited around for dinner to try my Australian/Indian fushion Kangaroo Korma!

We shared fresh garden peas on the table, ate Duck Liver Parfait with Rhubarb + Ginger Relish for entree matched with some beautiful Rose. For mains we were served Whole Blue Mackerel Tagine with the most delicious Malbec I've ever had a Manos Negras '07 from Mendoza Argentina. To clear our palettes we were served Spiced Tamarillo + Port Granita. The desert was the outstanding dish of the night - Mont Blanc in a jar matched with a glass of Mascato. And finally we were served Mint Tea and Chuao Chocolate from Argentina. At the end of the meal Mike came out and took us through each dish including how it was cooked and why he included the ingredients he did (eg. green peas are in season), the perfect way for any food lover to take away some inspiration and ideas at the end the night.

The menu and wine list are set and everyone pays a flat $150 for the night. I can rattle off the menu because it was listed on a beautiful board in front of us (photo above - note the antique shoe lasts hanging from the board, we felt right at home!) and Mike emailed a thank you along with the menu to everyone the day after we dined.

All in all it was an amazing experience, one of the best dining experiences I've ever had, both for the food, and the step up in the experience stakes from dining at a normal restaurant.

Mike's fully booked out through to the new year and isn't taking new bookings as he's planning to open his own restaurant. Email him at for details. Thanks to Zac for the recommendation!

How can you turn your product into more of an experience?


  1. What's the point of telling us about this great experience if we can't go! ;) Can't wait until he opens his own restaurant!