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Published October 13th 2012
Like a good meal paired with a cocktail? Head to Garuva's
Are you bored with your usual dining locales and looking to dine somewhere a little bit different? Well, Garuva Hidden Tranquility Restaurant, located at 324 Wickham Street, Fortitude Valley, is probably the place you're looking for, as it definitely does things differently. And why wouldn't it when it prides itself on being unique?
The first noticeable difference about Garuva's is that there is zero signage indicating where the restaurant is actually located and you could very well walk past it (I know I did). For, Garuva's likes to remain true to its name - 'hidden' - but with hidden comes 'tranquility' so it isn't all bad. And once you have found that magical entryway, walked up the boardwalk, past the tropical vegetation and pretty fountain, and you stand before those giant Balinese looking wooden doors you will be more than certain that you're dining somewhere special.
From here you will be escorted in by a staff member who will guide you through a dimly lit room where low set tables are enclosed by curtains (very unique indeed). If you're early, or waiting for fellow party member/s to arrive, this staff member will ask if you want to go to the cocktail bar and your answer is definitely yes. Not only is the setup cool – dim lamps, cushioned areas on the floor and wine keg tables surrounded by wooden stools – there is often live music and, the best part, you can order a drink from the extensive and one of a kind Garuva-ian cocktail menu (happy hour does exist, find out more here). A word of warning they are fully licensed and not BYO.
Once you've enjoyed the bar and your number is up, you will be escorted to your table. Please note you will be sitting (quite comfortably) on cushioned rugs on the floor, with supported backrests, so dress at your own discretion. But it's all part of the experience, as once you're all seated liberally around your low set table, enclosed by those curtains that billow gently with the restaurants movements, and listen to the sound of happy chatter that meshes harmoniously, you really do feel like you are part of something mystical and special.
Garuva's caters for both small and large groups, with 8 booths devoted to parties of 2 to 4 people, with the remaining tables being devoted to parties of 5 or more. They also cater for private functions of up to 30 people in their function room, which is set apart from the main booths.
Refreshingly, the meals, which are both well proportioned and delicious, are all the same price - $25 for mains and $6 for desserts - and they serve a range of coffee based, in addition to alcoholic beverages. They also cater for vegetarians and gluten intolerance (there menus can be viewed here). BUT, like most other restaurants, they do not split the bill, so make sure you come prepared. They are conveniently open 7 nights a week, from 6pm to midnight. But please note that from Sun to Thurs there are no time restrictions on tables but on a busy Fri and Sat night the first sitting of the evening is 2 hours only.
There is a reason why this restaurant has survived on nothing but word of mouth since 1986. So, do something different, step out of your comfort zone and treat yourself to some well-deserved hidden tranquility. You will be more than happy you did.
We dined here recently & I really liked the 'uniqness' of this restaurant. The food & service was really great. We didn't go to the bar though. We were looking for something that was different & we certainly found it. I'd recommend to anyone.