Delectable Dining

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Delectable Dining – a regular segment where St Kilda Bites showcases outstanding restaurants in the greater St Kilda area

 

The new Araliya in Fitzroy Street

By Ravenous Renee

Want in on a local St Kilda foodie’s secret? Araliya has arrived. Already an acclaimed and well-known culinary sensation for almost three decades, in the prestigious, leafy suburb of Hawthorn, founders and owners Sam and Dee Wedande are taking their culinary passion and expertise south-east. Araliya can now be found gracing the Paris end of Fitzroy Street, serving up Sri-Lankan inspired and French refined delights, worthy of a very commendable mention.

A beckoning St Kilda dining and bar sensation to be marvelled at for their great food, cocktails and exemplary service, Sam leads the way as head chef while Dee manages the front of the house. Appointed restaurant manager Jude, follows suit in helping to provide the utmost satisfactory dining experience to all valued guests, alongside head bartender and cocktail mogul and aficionado, Anton Turco Bertolotti, whom is there to ensure your beverage experience is of equally deserving mention.

Impressed from the moment I set foot in the contemporary, stylishly designed establishment; the night was a rewarding experience on all accounts, from beginning to end. Providing an ample food and beverage menu of designed-to-share dishes, and hand selected drinks (not set out to confuse with a smorgasbord of wasted options), dining is favourably made easy.

Getting the night under way, my dining partner and I ordered a handful of recommended dishes to sample between us, alongside some cocktails, from our lovely and knowledgeable waitress, Zhanara. For starters, we nibbled on the Scallops on Coconut Roti (3 pieces for $15) which were meaty-soft-tender, one-mouthful teasers; alongside the Stack of ‘Thosai’ – a rice and lentil pancake (GF [$8.50]) that resembled and tasted like somewhere between a curried vegetable mimosa and a vegetable pasty. Divine.

Then out came the smaller dishes, sharing plates and sides accompaniments which each worked together miraculously well. Warmly received was our order of Jaggery Beef ($33 large, $19 small), Crusted Blue Eye (fish variety and price depending on what is market fresh that day), sides of saffron rice and green beans with cashew nuts in a white curry, and Curried Duck Legs with Pineapple Chutney ($32 large, $18 small) served last, so to be surely enjoyed hot, straight out the oven.

Standouts on the palate were undeniably the Curried Duck Legs by which the meat tenderly fell off the bone in succulent spice infused morsels (enhanced by the candied decadence of pineapple that graced its crisp skin), and the crusted fish that maintained its firm yet delicate texture and form, showcasing naturally sweet flesh which broke away in slivers of mouth-watering perfection. The Jaggery beef – succulent Wagu brisket – done in a robust sauce of roasted spices and kitul (sap of the Kitul palm flower) was arguably good too. The sides, they just topped off everything nicely.

And if all this wasn’t enough to impress, the desserts and cocktails sealed the deal. Afters for us were the syrupy sweet, nutmeg infused, coconut crepe cigars – served impeccably with Sam’s homemade, creamy-rich, real cinnamon ice-cream. Cocktails to highlight were the sweet Basil Martini and the surprising, but divine, concoction of bourbon, dark choc’ and mint, named: Once You Go Black. An evening of pure class, sophistication and refined indulgence, need we say more?

Araliya
157 Fitzroy St, St Kilda
Monday to Wednesday 5pm Till Late
Thursday to Sunday 12 Noon Till Late
Ph: (03) 9078 6757
www.araliyastkilda.com

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