Eat, play, love…St Kilda

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… what’s happening this month

By Henry Shires 

Ah so many good things to enjoy, just in the if-not-global-then-at-least-globalized, wonderful village that is St K. But so few lives to enjoy them in.

I’d like to teach the world…what really good vegetarian food tastes like

World Vegetarian Café: The place for healing cuisine: The best “made from scratch” homemade Chai in Elsternwick, if not the whole of Melbourne. Rice paper rolls that inspire you to write beautiful Haiku poetry on them, with their infinite freshness. Green Pea Falafel that could surely unite even the war torn Middle East with its exquisiteness.

Tofu and Quinoa Burger that is somehow engineered to have the same consistency as rare top quality minced beef but without any of the cholesterol or recriminations. Or eulogies for cows!

And finally out of the Indian originating, world vego food excelling, kitchen of Elsternwick’s new best kept culinary secret comes…Kitchari. The only version of that old Chinese takeaway favourite “fried rice” that could ever claim with any authenticity to be at the same time extremely moreish, while also “cleansing and healing”!

Which just leaves the honourable mentions for the Minty Green Smoothie, Cardamom (!) Pancakes AND Cookies and other incredible daily desserts.

452 Glenhuntly Road Elsternwick

P: 9078 1383

 World Vegetarian by Louise Avery














A red light and top notch cocktails on Grey St

Love&Dysfunction Lounge Bar

The hipsters, cocktail and/or style lovers amongst you need read no further!

This ironically red lit, faux period, Hemingway-esque bar on the otherwise somewhat dismal and sleazy Grey Street, is far and away St K’s hippest and hot night spot.

This self-styled “St Kilda Speakeasy” gets it all right. The eclectic retro dark wood and deep leather furniture. The great selection of esoteric wines including a rather fine little rose wine from SA called Mr Mick. The tantalising nibbles and much moreish sharing dishes, including such very fairly priced rarebits as Mushroom Pate, Mushroom and Duck Pate, and a blue cheese that one of my guests (Dean!) said was so could good he would like to “dip his knob in it” (by which we can only hope he meant his knob of fine accompanying bread).

But thine affable host, owner and yet another displaced, Reg Ridealgh (he has the voice of ultra dry British comedian Jack Dee, but the looks of a handsome – yes he was once handsome – young Elton John. His real name, coincidentally, was also Reginald. And not a lot a people know vat) really specialises in cocktails.

Behind the bar is chockas with exotic bottles of liquors, spirits and very strongly fortified wines.

My liquor drinking days are long over, but, if you still can, this is the place to cocktail.

For instance the “Classically Inspired Cocktails” include: a French Caipirinha, a Singaporean Pal (by this stage in the night everyone in the bar will be your “pal”) and a Dysfunctional Gimlet. Ouch!

Then there is a, quite literal, “Dog’s Bar” area at the back which you and your potentially pint slurping pooch can enter, again quite literally, via the back passage (ok I need to stop now I am getting an attack of the English innuendos).

103 Grey St, St Kilda

Love and dysfunction - 1 of 1by louise avery















Short cuts and quick wins, All the Jews fit to print

JIFF is the international festival of Jewish film. And it takes place right on our doorstep at the little old Classic Cinema, right in little old Elsternwick. 4th to 29th November. And this year in particular sees a spectacular surfeit of splendid documentaries by Jewish documentarists including

Einstein In The Holy Land The little known story of Albert Einstein’s 1923 visit to Palestine

Hagiga – The Story Of Israeli Cinema

Nobelists Meet the inordinate large number (8) of Israeli scientists who have won the Nobel prize, in the last decade alone.

On Banks Of The Tigris: Hidden Story Of Iraqi Music

The Muses Of Bashevis Singer How did possibly the most famous Yiddish writer of all time fit in all those ladies.

Sidney Lumet By The great Jewish director of 70’s cinema classics Dog Day Afternoon, Serpico and Network, on…himself.

Vita Activa – The Spirit Of Hannah Arendt One of the most famous female philosophers of modern times she both documented the trial of Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann and had an affair with Nazi supporting fellow philosopher Martin Heidegger.

Albert Einstein and his Wife Sailing Home















Five course French feast on the first (Saturday)

From the people who brought you Le Petit Lapin French Café (see last month’s EPL…St K online at for more details) comes “Once Upon A Month” A fantastic Francophile Five Course French Feast on the first Saturday of every month.

Every month, the mouth tsunami-ing menu, is a strict surprise so I can’t do a complete  “spoiler” and tell you what the Nov 7th menu will be. Or they would have to kill me…with culinary excess. But…I can wet you taste buds by mentioning that that fabulous French classic way of serving scallops, “coquilles Saint-Jacques” will be featured. With several unique twists, including the exotic potentially-to-the-point-of-erotic addition of “parmesan chips”.

Strictly by RSVP only.

322 Glen Eira Road Elsternwick  P: 9528 2788

La Petite Lapin 3 by Louise Avery
















Pick a winner with a Grosvenor Hotel Spring Racing Carnival hamper

Spring Racing Carnival is upon us again. Think sleek glistening coats. Hair matted with sweat. Eyes staring wildly. The ones that go crazy having to be shot. And that’s just the punters!!!

Even if you can’t face the madding crowd you could still order yourself in a majestic hamper from the Grosvenor Hotel, St Kilda East and watch it on the TV.

Hamper One, at a very light weight $50 for 2 people, includes their own in-house made Farmhouse style Terrine of Pork and Pistachio, locally smoked salmon, lip-smackingly luscious lemon meringue tarts and a lovely Victorian Box Grove Primitivo Rose.

P: 9531 1542

 Grosvenor Hotel Hamper 2












Every dog has their day, everyday, at the Dog House Hotel: Won the Lotto and wanna get away somewhere good for Xmas? But can’t trust caged kennels with your pampered pooches? Ripponlea’s “Millionaires’ Row” Los Angeles Avenue based Dog House Hotel are highly experienced and widely recommended dog walkers, whisperers and worry removers. Leave your hounddog happilyat anything but a heartbreak hotel.

P: 9013 9612 / 0418 547894 (Louise)

 Dog House Dog Hotel and Walking by Mark Lee
















Still trending:

Tai chi on top of the world: Sun Tai Chi (For Health/Arthritis) in the sun on top of St Kilda (the Rooftop Terrace of St Kilda Baths), with St Kilda’s own Mr Miyagi, Sifu Henry. The hot spot to be on a Wednesday at 11.30(am).

Jig’s Kitchen – The Home of Jig’s Pies: The best homemade pies and Mauritian Chicken Curry…and Chai in St Kilda can now also be eaten alfresco at their new pavement tables.

156 Carlisle Street (next to St Kilda Library) P; 9537 0348

Tai Chi on the roof of South Pacific Health Club St Kilda Baths















About to be packed out:

Hank Marvin Food Markets: If you have not experienced this gastronomic wonder of the world (well Melbourne at least) – Melbourne’s largest regular (weekly) collection of food trucks and stalls – you had better get down there some Saturday very soon (9am-3pm). Because the affluent international locusts who are St Kilda summer visitors and Melbourne’s suburbanites are beginning to descend upon this foodie phenomenon in all consuming swarms.

And coming next month…I have the great pleasure and privilege of interviewing local GP and now international best-selling novelist, with her debut novel about a Jewish doctor working in terrorist-torn Haifa, The Waiting Room Leah Kaminsky. Talking about, among other things, how we can reflect upon the horrors of the Holocaust in the light of a new millennium. And being the inaugural Poetry and Fiction Editor of the MJA – the Medical Journal of Australia! In the meantime, The Waiting Room is available from Readings, St Kilda. (Copies cannot be bulk billed!).

If you have a suitably creative, healthy or quirky event, product or service that you would like to invite Henry to attend or sample please email him at with “Eat, play, love invite/sample” included in the subject title.

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