Posted by - 15 June 2010 - No comments

The Stokehouse in St Kilda

Dimly lit lighting at The Stokehouse
No Dans Le Noir haven't opened a branch in Melbourne, this is in fact a picture of the ABD reading his menu at the Stokehouse in St Kilda.  The lighting in the restaurant was dimmed so low it was ridiculously dark that you have to read the menu with a torch. 

The Stokehouse occupies a beautifully restored 1920s building on a prime spot on St Kilda's beach, the views are breathtaking and we made full use of the position, watching the sun set with an apertif on the upstair terrace before dinner.  The restaurant is split in two - with the upstair restaurant the more formal of the two.  The restaurant has chic beach house interior, with a lovely warm and buzzy atmosphere.  It was mid week when we dined here and it was full of tables of families enjoying dinner.

Bresaola with apple and parmesan
The food at The Stokehouse is modern Australian with a Mediterranean twist.  The menu is biased towards seafood, but also includes meat and a decent selection of dishes for vegetarians.   There's also a blackboard of specials.   I start with a special - the bresaola served with apple and shavings of parmesan.   The meat is red and rich in colour, but  the slices are cut slightly too thick.  It's so flesh-like, that I could only stomach a few mouthfuls which was a shame because its quite a flavoursome dish.

The AB's liver pate was a little more palatable, but could have been accompanied with more slices of toasted bread.

King George Whiting and hand cut chips
The crispy battered King George Whiting, hand cut chips, lemon & tartare sauce I ordered for my main was perfectly cooked.  The fish was fresh and the batter incredibly light and crispy, but there was just too much of it - four humongous fillets to be exact.  I can only fathom that the extra fillets were to justify charging AUS$35 for the dish, because there was enough fish on my plate for four servings.  I'm only so full, that I have no room for dessert.

Grilled red snapper
The AB's special - grilled red snapper fillets served slithers of crispy pancetta and squid was delish, perfectly cooked and portioned. 

Verdict: If I'm honest I was slightly disappointed by The Stokehouse. It just wasn't the faultless cooking that left you wanting to eat more, that I'd read so much about.  It wasn't bad but it just could have been so much better.  That being said, the restaurant's is still worth a visit, even if the food doesn't live up to its beautiful setting.

Stokehouse (upstairs) on Urbanspoon
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