What do you know about restaurant “secret menus”? Yes, they do exist!

Secret menus, exposed.

For consumers, ordering off a “secret” menu promoted mostly through word of mouth means gaining instant access to an exclusive club of in-the-know guests. For operators, it’s one of the cheapest marketing and brand-building tools around.

Knowing the best dish on the menu will always impress. But knowing the best dish off the menu – now that’s in a league of its own. Here are ten of the best secret offerings – ask (properly, because there are code words) and you shall receive..

Stovells Windsor Road, Chobham, Surrey GU24. 01276 858000, stovells.com

Stovells Windsor Road, Chobham, Surrey GU24. 01276 858000, http://www.stovells.com


Stovell’s.

Homely fare at a 16th-century Tudor farmhouse.
Secret dish: Seasonal pork cooked sous-vide, shallow fried, or served exactly as you like it (£30 for this and one other course).
How to get it: Ask the waiter for “toes”.

Mr Chow 151 Knightsbridge, London SW1. 020-7589 7347, www.mrchow.com

Mr Chow 151 Knightsbridge, London SW1. 020-7589 7347, http://www.mrchow.com


Mr Chow.

The original Chinese see-and-be-seen.
Secret dishes: Vegetarian Beijing “duck” (£24), gold- leaf dumplings (£12), lobster roll (£20).
How to get them: Just ask.

Sumosan 26B Albemarle Street, London W1. 020-7495 5999, www.sumosan.com

Sumosan 26B Albemarle Street, London W1. 020-7495 5999, http://www.sumosan.com


Sumosan.

A Japanese destination with a discerning following.
Secret dish: Sashimi of salmon, toro and hamachi (£40).
How to get it: Request “Janina’s dish”.

Baroque 14 Old Park Lane, London W1. 020-7491 8586, www.playboyclublondon.com

Baroque 14 Old Park Lane, London W1. 020-7491 8586, http://www.playboyclublondon.com


Baroque.

A vampy, glamorous bar at Playboy Club London.
Secret drink: A theatrical champagne tower (£1,350).
How to get it: Deploy the codeword “Marie Antoinette”.

Zucca 184 Bermondsey Street, London SE1. 020-7378 6809, www.zuccalondon.com

Zucca 184 Bermondsey Street, London SE1. 020-7378 6809, http://www.zuccalondon.com


Zucca.

Unfussy Italian cooking.
Secret dish: White truffle risotto (£20).
How to get it: Just ask.

Cantina Laredo 10 Upper St Martin's Lane, London WC2. 020-7420 0630, www.cantinalaredo.co.uk

Cantina Laredo 10 Upper St Martin’s Lane, London WC2. 020-7420 0630, http://www.cantinalaredo.co.uk


Cantina Laredo.

Authentic Mexican food with an energetic atmosphere.
Secret drinks: An offering of specialist tequilas including tamarind and hibiscus blends (£9.50 each).
How to get them: Request a “tequila mockingbird”.

The Old House At Home Burton, Near Castle Combe, Wiltshire SN14. 01454 218227, www.ohhcompany.co.uk

The Old House At Home Burton, Near Castle Combe, Wiltshire SN14. 01454 218227, http://www.ohhcompany.co.uk


The Old House At Home.

Wholesome food in a beautiful setting.
Secret dish: Grilled fillet of mackerel on a black pudding hash (£13.50).
How to get it: Mention the password “parlé”.

Antico 214 Bermondsey Street, London SE1. 020-7407 4682, www.antico-london.co.uk

Antico 214 Bermondsey Street, London SE1. 020-7407 4682, http://www.antico-london.co.uk


Antico.

Provincial Italian dishes with modern presentations.
Secret dish: Campari ice-cream (£4.50).
How to get it: Ask the waiter if he has “cold balls”.

The Dorsia 3 Cromwell Road, London SW7. 020-7590 4630, www.thedorsia.co.uk/restaurant

The Dorsia 3 Cromwell Road, London SW7. 020-7590 4630, http://www.thedorsia.co.uk/restaurant


The Dorsia.

Modern European dining in a Kensington townhouse.
Secret dish: Arugula Caesar Salad (£10).
How to get it: Ask the waiter if he has read American Psycho, the book from which this restaurant takes its name.

Chabrot bistrot d'Amis 9 Knightsbridge Green, London SW1. 020-7225 2238, www.chabrot.co.uk

Chabrot bistrot d’Amis 9 Knightsbridge Green, London SW1. 020-7225 2238, http://www.chabrot.co.uk


Chabrot bistrot d’Amis.

Unrestrainedly Gallic in both atmosphere and taste.
Secret dish: Pheasant and chestnut soup (£8.50).
How to get it: Just ask.

For those of you who must get your fix of a McDonald’s.. There is always the McDonald’s Secret Menu: The Mc10:35
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