Hideaway Restaurant: A garden retreat
Few venues are as aptly named as Hideaway, a beguiling al fresco restaurant tucked away behind the Trianon Shopping Park at the far end of Marbella Road. Completely off the tourist trail, the restaurant sits next door to the Vaneron Garden Center, an extensive nursery and landscaping business whose exotic plant-filled greenhouses are in themselves a pleasure to browse. But venture slightly further around the corner andyou’ll find the entrance to this captivating dining space, where those in the know come to find solitude and sanctuary away from the crowds.
Word of mouth
Hideaway began life as a coffee shop, serving not much more than drinks and a few panini. But its shady setting alongside the River Sèche meant that word – and demand – soon began to spread. “We’ve never advertised,” says Vanessa Adaken, whose family own and manage both the garden centre and the restaurant. “We’re only open for lunch, and our reputation and success has purely been down to word of mouth.”
It’s easy to see how that happened. Hideaway feels like a secret discovery, and the kind of place you’d want to share with friends. Tables are widely spaced beneath the shady fronds of tropical trees, offering privacy and seclusion with nothing but birdsong and the gurgling river to interrupt the tranquility. For those with time to spare and stories to share, it’s the ideal backdrop for a lazy lunchtime rendezvous.
Today the restaurant caters for 50–60 people, with a menu that features a wide range of traditional Mauritian dishes alongside the more standard selection of sandwiches, pastas and salads. And it’s these Mauritian dishes that steal the show. Passed down from Vanessa’s mother to the current members of kitchen staff, the list includes a popular venison curry – reputed to be the best available on the island – plus a delicious salted fish or sausage rougaille, all accompanied by tempting side dishes of fried aubergine, dhal, chouchou and tomato chutney.
Three or four times per year, Hideaway lays on special events and with the addition of a large marquee these can hold around 150 people.