Attica is back – sort of

Published on 11 November 2020

Photo: Attica's dining room (supplied)

Melbourne’s premier fine-diner is reopening, offering a level of service seldom seen in Australia.

If you’ve been anxiously watching for signs of an Attica reopening announcement, your lucky day has come. But don’t expect a carbon copy of what the restaurant has done in the past. Attica In Between is a completely new way to experience the top-ranked restaurant in Australia. And it’s just here for a month.

“It isn't Attica pre-COVID, and it isn't necessarily what Attica will be in the future, but it is Attica now,” says chef-owner Ben Shewry.

Attica In Between runs for approximately one month, starting this Friday, and offers a 10-course menu of completely new dishes for one table of 10 every night. That means an unprecedented level of service, even for a restaurant that prides itself on offering the very best to its 60 customers each night.

But having the restaurant all to yourself comes at a price. And it’s a big step up from the $310 a head diners were paying earlier in 2020: the table is $5,000, not including drinks.

If you can fill the table of 10, it’s $500 per head, with drinks charged on consumption, making it the most expensive restaurant in Victoria, if not Australia. If it’s just you and your date? Well, at $2,500 a pop, that’s one helluva date night.

The details of the dishes are still under wraps, but Shewry points to many sources of inspiration available to him over the last eight months, including the Attica staff meals featuring menus drawn from his team’s different upbringings and cultures, and the produce in the kitchen garden including murnong, a native Australian variety of yam. Dish names on the drawing board include Seafood Barbecue, and Ben and Reko’s Picnic Caviar, the Reko in question being Reko Rennie, celebrated Melbourne artist, and a pal of Shewry’s.

If you agree that 2020 has been a year of firsts, perhaps dropping a stack of cash on private dining at Attica is another first-time experience to add to your list.

Attica In Between, Friday 13 November to Saturday 12 December, 74 Glen Eira Rd, Ripponlea. Bookings available for dinner Tues-Sat, 5pm-7.30pm or lunch Sat, 12pm or 12.30pm.

By Emma Breheny

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