As restaurant names go, The Man Behind The Curtain is among one of the most avant-garde. Perhaps we shouldn’t expect anything less from chef Michael O'Hare though, who has built his career on playing with the expectations and perceptions of diners who walk through the door.
In case you were wondering, the restaurant takes its name from classic film The Wizard of Oz, although you won’t find any corny tributes to the yellow brick road here. Instead, the dining room is a stylishly appointed space that is flooded with natural light thanks to large windows. Exposed wooden beams and concrete flooring add to the industrial-chic vibe, while graffiti splashed across the walls adds a much-welcomed burst of colour. There is also the benefit of sweeping views across the city’s rooftops, thanks to the restaurant’s position above clothing store Flannels.
Some parts of the menu at The Man Behind The Curtain change with the seasons, but the main draw here is the Permanent Collection – a 10-14 course tasting menu that deals in curious and sometimes challenging dishes. Examples of plates you might be served up include halibut with chorizo and pickled onion, a pairing of foie gras and raspberry, and oysters topped with a strawberry kimchi.
Desserts are equally as arresting (think milk chocolate with violet and honey), while the extensive wine list is made up of bottles from lesser known regions and styles. There are a few house cocktails too, that are as Instagram-friendly as they are tasty.
True fans are also invited to shop at O’Hare’s dedicated shop, which features a handful of products he has created himself. You could get your hands on a Man Behind The Curtain branded skateboard, or a candle designed by the chef himself. There’s even a collaboration between the restaurant and Slingsby Gin (presented in a sleek monochromatic bottle) which you can bring home with you.