Newmarket Hotel 34 Inkerman Street, St Kilda, Melbourne Contact: 03 9810 0087 Just off the Princess Highway is the Newmarket hotel. With a rather deliberately low key looking entrance, it opens out onto a secluded, glassed courtyard, bathed in light, a chilled bar lounge, and intimate dinner amongst the concrete arches and rather suggestive wallpaper.
GetFoodi Connecting food creators with food lovers www.getfoodi.com.au Can we all just take a moment to admire this wonderful creation? I mean really, that is one SERIOUS cake!
Pablo Honey Location: 68A Acland Street, St Kilda, Melbourne, Victoria Contact: 03 8658 3127 Pablo Honey mixes twisted tequila-based drinks at it’s swanky bar, which is adorned in art created by its staff. Original paintings and decorated skulls are a prominent theme, filling the dark cool walls. The setting is relaxed yet lively with a great buzz, with long tables for sharing tapas with a large group of friends or an intimate date.
St Hotel Location: 54 Fitzroy St, St Kilda VIC Contact: 03 9534 2944 http://www.sthotel.com.au/ On every Sunday, St Hotel lays out a thai banquet to help soak up the excesses of Saturday night. We sauntered down to have a taste.
Fitzrovia Location: 155 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda, Melbourne, VIC Contact: 03 9537 0001 It doesn’t feel quite right to call Fitzrovia a cafe. Yes, the St Kilda eatery serves stellar brunches and a well thought out dinner service, however the combination of unique, homely touches and luxe comfort food make the whole experience of dining at Fitzrovia more akin to being invited for dinner at a lavish house party, rather than within the walls of a restaurant itself. It’s a distinguishing feature, and a wonderful reminder that friendly service and atmosphere play as much a part in contributing to repeat business as does getting the menu right.
Araliya Location: 157 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda, Melbourne VIC Contact: 03 8658 3516 After cultivating 30 years of experience at the helm of Araliya Hawthorn, Sri Lankan chef Sam Wedande has now moved the institution to the beachy suburb of St Kilda. Drawing on three generations for his spice-infused dishes, the restaurant brings some wonderful recipes which represent a true celebration of both traditional and contemporary Sri Lankan techniques.
Itali.Co Location: 1/173-177 Barkly St Contact: 03 9537 5300 Jutting out on the corner of Barkley St is Itali.Co. Surrounded by glass with a slatted ceiling and warm light, the atmosphere is spacious, airy and welcoming. With woodfired pizzas, handmade pasta and slather of drinks it’s artisan Italian food in a crisp modern setting.
Bistro Bakini Location: 568 St Kilda Rd Melbourne, VIC 3004 Contact: 03 9521 7774 We were first introduced to Bistro Bakini last year by a food blogger, Ashley (of ‘I’m so Hungree’), whereupon we immediately fell in love with the restaurant’s refreshing take on fine Italian food. Headed by head Chef Luigi Buono, whose previous endeavours include Caffe e Cuccina, Vino Bar, Bond Street and Orto Kitchen and Garden, Bistro Bakini recently pushed the boundaries of Italian fare with the launch of its one-off Masters of the Mediterranean degustation menu. We attended a media night recently to preview the dinner ahead of its official launch at the restaurant.
I am constantly astounded by the quality and diversity of food that is offered in Melbourne. Having recently returned from travelling and working overseas (where I had the pleasure of dining at quite a few Michelin-starred restaurants), I can comfortably say that Melbourne offers some of the best restaurants and cafes in the world, which, believe it or not, I much preferred over their Michelin-starred counterparts. This past month I have been very ‘busy’ re-acquainting my palette with Melbourne food. Here are a few favourites that I’d happily eat at (over and over) again: Hinoki Japanese Pantry Location: 279 Smith Street, Fitzroy, VIC 0065 Contact: 03 9417 4531 Fonda Mexican Location: 248 Swan Street, Richmond, VIC 3121 Contact: 03 9429 0085 Jinda Thai Location: 7 Ferguson St, Abbotsford, VIC 3067 Contact: 03 9419 5899
Joe’s Bar and Dining Hall Location: 64-66 Acland St, St Kilda, VIC 3182 Contact: 03 9525 3755 This revamped homage to classic Southern-style food is set to catapult you into the American food scene, which has well and truly taken Melbourne by storm. Not that we’re complaining, of course: Joe’s Bar and Dining Hall have clearly put a lot of thought into perfecting what are guaranteed to be crowd-pleasers: there’s everything that one could possibly want from a Texas barbecue at this joint.
Golden Fields Location: 2/157 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda, VIC 3182 Contact: 03 9525 4488 After Golden Fields, it seems that everything that Andrew McConnell touches turns to gold.