Signature Dish

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By Mantis Kane

Signature Dish is a section that explores the district’s best dishes. We aim to champion culinary heavy hitters and uncover hidden gems by asking local restaurants to serve up their most popular dish.

This month: Lamb and haloumi salad at Barzar Lounge on Carlisle St

Situated at one of St Kilda’s busiest crosshairs, Barzar lounge is in breathing distance of the National Theatre, the upmarket backpackers BASE and the hustle of Acland St. You might assume the foot traffic alone would sustain business, but Barzar Lounge has steadily built a committed local following over the past nine years. Locals have remained loyal to their modern Australian menu which is cooked by Indians and served by pretty European staff – an apt microcosm of Melbourne’s pick ’n mix ecosystem.

We headed down to sample their blue-ribbon dish.

Owner Rebecca says, “This one is my personal go-to dish. It’s packed with ingredients: grilled lamb tenderloins, roquette, spanish onion, walnuts, roasted capsicum, chickpeas, haloumi, fetta and a lemon thyme dressing. It’s light and healthy, plus it’s packed with subtle flavours”

Rarely does a dish tick all the boxes. Well, the two most important boxes, and ones that are diametrically opposed, namely: being both savagely indulgent and boastfully healthy. Usually, you can have one, and not the other. Mutually exclusive properties, like Trump or Hilary, Carlton or Collingwood. Now, I’m not a scientist, but I reckon this dish achieves both, breaking through an impossible barrier. The culinary splitting-of-the-atom; Usian Bolt’s elixir extracted and bottled; the food version of a trans-gendered peacekeeper in this divided world.

Form an orderly queue.

Barzar Lounge

19a Carlisle St, St Kilda 3182

Please contact Mantis at to be considered for Signature Dishes. 

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