If there’s one piece of advice we can share before you embark on a progressive dining experience, it is this: do not eat a big lunch beforehand. Progressive dinners – called Supper Safaris in the UK – are gaining popularity across Australia. What diners do is make their way to three or more different restaurants over the one night. At each restaurant a different course is served, which is sometimes a completely different cuisine – the first restaurant might be French, and the next Italian.
Similar to a pub-crawl (without the next-day hangover) progressive dinners give you the best of three or more different restaurants in one night. They've come a long way since the old progressive casserole night with the local Apex club, so here are the top five reasons they’re the next big thing in Aussie dining.
Say goodbye to pesky cabs and public transport, the chosen restaurants are within walking distance from each other. It’s the best way to see different parts of the city by foot. Perfect for those new to town, or for locals who want to try different restaurants they haven’t yet dined at. Our Sydney experience takes you through the best bits of Darling Harbour, and leaves just enough room for fireworks at 9pm (if you’re lucky!). Make sure you dress accordingly – flats or low heels are advised and don’t forget to prepare for wet weather. It's also good news for those who like to enjoy a few drinks with their dinner.
All the menus and matching wines are pre-set, so once you choose a start time, the rest is taken care of - you can switch off for the night. Your seats are reserved and waiting for you at each restaurant.
The wait staff will provide you with the general direction of your next restaurant, but if you’re not too familiar with the city, there can be a real sense of adventure included in the night. In some instances you might even receive a map to the next place, which brings an element of excitement to your night – that’s something you wouldn’t get if you sat down for a traditional three-course meal.
With a recommended three hours set aside to complete the full experience, you really get your money’s worth. Every restaurant has a different vibe, a different chef, different wait staff and different overall atmosphere. You could be sitting inside watching the chefs prepare fresh seafood in one place, and outside watching the waves lap the shore at another. Rest assured, the tables that are reserved will make you feel like a VIP.
Want to spend an extra fifteen minutes walking between venues? No problem. Looking for another glass of cab sav with your main meal? Just pay for the wine as you go. The only thing you need to worry about is not having two stomachs.