Curtin House is a multi-venue paradise. There’s the cocktail delights of Cookie, the summertime joys of the Rooftop Cinema and the venerable Toff in Town.
The Toff, a combined bar, music venue and restaurant, recently overhauled its menu, meaning those who brave the stairs (Curtin House does have a lift, but you may grow old and die waiting for it) have a new reward waiting at the top.
Choo Choo’s, as the Toff’s restaurant is now known, offers a selection of small Thai-influenced dishes designed for sharing - think skewers, curries, relishes and broths. The yellow curry with tofu and mushroom dumplings is smooth, mildly spiced perfection and the smoked eggplant, tomato and banana chilli salad is a spice-laden hit.
Diners sit in intimate booths with sliding doors that can be closed for privacy, making this the perfect venue for seduction or scheming. The Toff describes them as ‘carriages’, but what they really resemble are high-end confessionals (we mean this in a good way). A silent buzzer in each booth summons the waitstaff, who are friendly, efficient and quick with a recommendation.
For all its sense of cosy exclusivity, the Toff is not pretentious - prices are reasonable, and a playlist of 60s chanson and Tarantino soundtracks helps keep the atmosphere upbeat through the evening (a lovely pinot noir and the stash of tacky romance novels in our carriage also adds to the sum of human happiness).
Find an excuse to treat someone soon.