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6 Tough-to-Land Tables (You’ve Never Heard Of)

These sup spots might not have a global following, but they’re still some of the most sought-after seats on the planet. And for good reason.

Nabbing a spot at Copenhagen’s Noma is nigh-on impossible, and when it comes to getting into The Fat Duck you’ll likely always be fat out of luck. But have you heard of these equally coveted, but far more surreptitious supsters? Here are six beneath-the-radar tables those in-the-know are hankering to get their knees under – with our top tips on how to get your fork in the door.

IDES, Melbourne 

Mod-Oz stunner Attica is notoriously one of Australia’s most difficult resys, but even more elusive is a perch at this pop-up from the Ripponlea resto’s sous chef, Peter Gunn. It’s only on once a month… usually on a Monday… and you’ll need to secure your set price tickets eight months in advance. But oooh, the ever-changing, wondrously inventive morsels on offer.

How to get in: Having to reserve so far ahead means some silly sods forget their bookings. Call a few days before service and ask to be put on the waitlist, that way if someone doesn’t confirm you’ll be in like flynn, Lynn.

IDES at Persillade, 150 Wellington Pde, East Melbourne, Melbourne, see website for upcoming dates,

Sushi Sho, Tokyo 

You won’t find this simple Shinjuku omakase counter on any Mich lists – it’s said that owner-cum-sushi sensei Keiji Nakazawa was overlooked by the star-bestowers after telling their critic that his nigiri knowledge didn’t cut it. But don’t let the lack of accolades fool you: with only ten seats and a legion of local foodie fans hankering for the master’s meticulous 30-course ‘experience’, this is one of Tokyo’s most sought after suppers.

How to get in: Dinners book out months in advance but the bara chirashi set lunch is no res. Just arrive before noon as they only make 20 per day.

Sushi Sho, Yorindo Bldg, 1-11 Yotsuya, Shinjuku, Tokyo, +81 3 3351 6387

Ta Pantry, Hong Kong 

Hong Kong’s big wigs and bon vivants clamour to get to chef Esther (Tata)’s table – and and rightly so, as she has previously manned the pans at L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon and Paris’ Relais Louis XIII . But, as this is a private kitchen, you’ll need to book out the entire space (seats up to 20) to sample her utterly delectable Sino-French fare.

How to get in: Grab your pals and book at least seven days ahead. Or settle for Tata’s petal strewn Gallic bistro Maison es.

Ta Pantry, 1 Electric St, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, +852 2521-8121,

Mandolin Terrace, Istanbul 

The crowning glory of Soho House plates up all-day Aegean open-air fare before sigh-worthy views of the Golden Horn and Fatih. But, drat it, it’s members only so you’ll need to be staying at the hotel if you want to sup it up with the style set here.

How to get in: Staying at Soho House gets you access to all of the Members Club facilities including Mandolin Terrace and the bobby rooftop pool that sits beside it. The only other way in is with a member. Pssst… We’ve got names in the Istanbul guide.

Mandolin Terrace, Soho House Istanbul, Eviya Celebi Mahallesi, Mesrutiyet Cad 56, Beyoglu, Istanbul, +90 212 377 71 00,

Semilla, New York 

Sitting on a Williamsburg street that also sports a discount shoe shop and kebab shack, this diminutive veg-centric boite is one of NY’s best kept secrets – and that’s the way the Brooklyn hipsters would like it to stay. With fewer than 20 seats (and no bookings for more than four) it’s already hard enough to snag a stool for the complex degustations and exquisite desserts. Quite Sem-ply superb!

How to get in: Book via the Semilla website and be prepared to eat either very early or very late.

Semilla, 160 Havemeyer St, #5, Brooklyn, New York, +1 718 782 3474,

42 Grams, Chicago 

Perhaps it’s the far from Restaurant Row locale, or maybe that Chi-town already has so many well established Mich eateries, but 42 Grams hasn’t received all that much international attention since it opened in 2014. Or, maybe all the critics who’d like to write about ex-Alinea chef Jake Bickelhaupt’s first solo venture just can’t get into his 18-seat kitchen.

Tickets, which go $200+ pp, book out weeks ahead and guests are expected to BYO pours to pair with the 15-course mod-American meal. But trust us, the ingenious, immersive plates are worth the effort and expense. Go quick, this one will be mainstream within months.

How to get in: Check the ‘Last Minute Reservations’ page of the 42 Grams website for spare seats.

42 Grams, 4662 N Broadway St, Uptown, Chicago, book online,

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