Delectable Dining

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Elbow Room of St Kilda

“Another memorable dining experience”

By Anh Lee (as told to the Food Dude)

It was a balmy Friday night and I was hungry and looking for something different that was just a touch special, so I chose the Elbow Room on Fitzroy Street, one of the two major eating hubs in St Kilda. As it transpired, I wasn’t disappointed.

Elbow Room is a charming little fine dining venue that smacks of the romantic. The deep red interior of the walls and cushions creates a warm and inviting environment, and the subtle beige of vases adds a touch of sophistication and tones down the mood. I felt oddly at home, even more so when I experienced the genial and friendly service by the staff.

Sitting down in the dim light with some dainty wisps from tea candles, we were greeted by Josh; our waiter for the night, and presented with the menu. He eagerly recited the daily specials, giving us many delicious options to consider.

The triple braised pork belly with some seedy fig jam, the gamey taste of the pistachio crusted kangaroo steak, the duck risotto, and the humble chicken pasta, were just some of the dishes we had to consider. I contemplated over a glass of the highly recommended Angel Cove Sauvignon Blanc, from Marlborough, New Zealand. The fruitiness, with a small hint of a floral bouquet, was very satisfying. Sadly, my companion was disappointed, his favourite dish, the popular pork belly, was sold out.

Within 20 minutes of arrival appetizers were served. First was Moreton bugs, simply pan fried and cooked to perfection. The sweet and juicy, fresh ocean taste reminds you that you are in St Kilda, famous for its fresh seafood that is available to many of the restaurants in the area. Our other choice; the salt and pepper calamari salad, was covered in a citrus dressing and lightly salted and peppered, the squid was neither chewy nor slimy, cooked to tender perfection. The refreshing salad had an interesting twist to it; bean sprouts gave it some crunch and a slight oriental affair. Once we’d finished, Josh provided us with a small bowl of water with some lemon slices in it to wash our hands, signalling the mains were about to arrive.

Mine was a sizzling plate of chicken and beef on a bed of crunchy vegetables for fajitas. The flat bread was served in a steaming bamboo basket; it was Asia meets South America, quite a marriage actually. The traditional elements were there; the creamy jade of guacamole, the bright hue of tomato salsa, and the soft white of sour cream, plated up separately in harmonious togetherness. The DIY element in which you make a small tasty parcel for yourself and, if you wish to, your company, helps to ease the mood. Be prepared, however, this dish packed quite a kick. Despite the Oriental influences, the heat was rather of Latin origin.

The servings were so generous, consequently we could not bother checking out the dessert menu. However it would have been a huge shame if we had not partaken of dessert. Special thanks to maitre de Martin, who insisted we try his recommendation.

Just as the two glasses of excellent Italian red, Bolla Carbenet Sauvignon, I decided on the lemon tart, but this was no ordinary lemon tart from the frozen aisle of the supermarkets. It was absolutely scrumptious! The crust was crumbly, with even thinness, providing the perfect base for the creamy, pillowy filling. It was like biting on a cloud made of lemony essence. Furthermore, the lime mascarpone gave an exploding experience. The lime brings out the flavour of the lemon, yet the richness of the cream soothes the tanginess. Underneath the tart slice was also a bed of jetted blueberries. What a dish!

The Elbow Room, an extraordinary gourmet experience!

Elbow Room

19 Fitzroy St, St Kilda

Ph: 9534 7332

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