Loose Change Lunch… Feast a fortune, Pay a Pittance!

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Our regular instalment in the St Kilda Bites food review feature continues, where our poignant food critics, Oakley Hunter & Renee Burns-Woods, continue their relentless search for great value, high quality local lunch dining. Here are three more lunch venues in the St Kilda area worth mentioning! They enjoyed their new experiences in the busy eating hubs of St Kilda, the Fitzroy St end of Acland St, and the emerging dining strips of Armstrong St, Middle Park and Chapel St, Windsor.

Hot Honey

40-42 Armstrong St, Middle Park

Ph: (03) 9696 1900

www.hothoney.com.au

Cosy and quaint, nestled at the beach end of the shops after the roundabout, in Middle Park’s leafy green Armstrong Street, Hot Honey boasts countrified charm like no other.  A vase of beautiful white lily’s can be seen gracing the front entrance window, sitting seamlessly upon the wooden bench top upon where one can perch on the high stools, sip a latte and watch passers-by. Further to add to the allure, what looks akin to home baked apple crumble, like my grandmother would make, sits beguilingly in the corner windowsill to cool.

Inside I am warmly greeted by the friendly barista and waitress and before taking a seat, I eye off the glass cabinet selection of scrumptious wraps, Turkish focaccia and light lunch options, not to mention the homemade cakes – the type you would delight in purchasing at your kids local school fete. Taking a seat in the adjacent table service area of the cafe,  welcoming the afternoon rays of natural sunlight that glisten through the shop front window, as I sit down to browse the menu and order my Tandoori chicken wrap ($9.00) and peppermint tea ($3.80) by the comfort of the rustic open fire.

I admire the small glass bottles filled with dainty pink and red roses that look like they have been handpicked straight from an old English garden, that adorn each wooden tabletop, while taking in the beauty of the striking Melbourne inspired contemporary artwork that takes centre stage on the wall in front of me. I then find my eyes wandering the menu again, only to realise that the sweetness of this little place lies not only in its cheery local atmosphere, but also in the fact that the owner and head chef, Emma Bink’s, has an apiarist for a father and their delicious honey can be bought by the jar and seen in many of the menu items.

For a sweet experience, in all facets of the name, this is the place to be!

 

Miletos

132 Chapel St, Windsor

Ph: (03) 95102241

www.miletos.com.au

Miletos, a former butchery and deli, has been re-vamped into a homely, warm café, but has kept its Italian roots, offering delicious deli-style produce and home-cooked style Italian food made from ingredients sourced from Melbourne’s Farmers markets. A colleague had suggested I eat there, so one afternoon my friend and I placed ourselves at one of their wooden tables next the potted herb to browse their menu. I could see, from where we were sitting, a large lasagna ($12) in their display cabinet and I had to try it. Being from an Italian family, with a mother who cooked beautiful lasagna, I would always be disappointed with anything but hers. However, this was spot on Italian style cooking with quality ingredients and a bulky side-salad to match. My friend tried their renowned porterhouse steak sandwich ($13), of which she didn’t speak to me for ten minutes because she ‘enjoyed it so much’. Defiantly getting your money’s worth at Miletos, you’d probably have to travel to Italy to get this kind of quality and love in your cooking.

 

IL Fornaio

2c Acland St, St Kilda

Ph: (03) 95342922

www.ilfornaio.com.au

Are you the kind of person up at 6am in your Nike runners and Northface puffy jacket? Or were you out last night drinking and you haven’t even been home yet? Either way, you should stroll or stagger into IL Forniaos for something inspiring, uplifting and delicious. The café is a little bit ‘luxe’, but still has that laid back vibe and ‘fresh from mama’s kitchen’ food. As much as I wanted to get the Jack Johnson Banana pancakes (purely due to the name) and the juice rightfully titled ‘Walk of Shame’ (apple, watermelon, mint and berocca), I decided on an apparent favourite; the salmon with poached eggs, avocado mousse, popped quinoa and potato-leak hash. The dish was not only fabulously presented, but it was also delicious, well portioned, and cooked very well,  and you always leave this place smiling whether its returning a smile to the barista or knowing their menu thinks you are amazing just the way you are.

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