Sugar Reef Restaurant & Bar

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The Food Dude decides he now loves eating in St Kilda’s Fitzroy Street, after a very enjoyable dining experience at Sugar Reef Restaurant.

Recently we were invited to spend a Saturday night at Sugar Reef by owner Martyn Maloney, and to our surprise it was a sheer dining delight. With agreeable staff and service we couldn’t fault the whole evening and the delicious food left ‘she and I’ pleasantly satisfied!

Welcomed with a couple of excellent cocktails by Martyn as we were shown to our seat, he suggested we share a tapas dish for two, but with a difference; he had prepared a dish with scrumptious samples of a number of the choices listed in the Tapas Menu. Ours had a decided Italian influence, with the Arancini Balls stuffed with mushroom and parmesan, Italian Meatballs with a gorgeous homemade Napoli sauce, then a touch of the real Mediterranean with char grilled Baby Octopus in a herb and lemon marinade – All exquisite and at a reasonable price.

She was telling me already about how full she was becoming, so as she can never resist good seafood, she just chose a dish from the starters list as her main course: fresh Moreton Bay Bugs, simply grilled in true Greek style with lemon and a strong garlic butter, “what a sensation,” she said, and at $16.50 it was magnificent value!

So when presented with the comprehensive list of mains it took me a little time to decide, what with five healthy vegetarian dishes, to nine seafood choices; from seafood Marinara to Tasmanian Salmon, even my favourite: Battered Fish & Chips, all well under $30, and a fantastic array of meat dishes from Aged Rib Fillet to Duck Risotto, coming in from as low as $28 for Crumbed Veal lightly cooked in panko, served with Sauerkraut. However, I settled for the beautiful Baby Barramundi. This was a very fresh whole fish baked Thai style with lemongrass, chilli, lime and ginger, served over delicious Bok Choy in a unique miso broth. “Mmmm” is the only way I could describe it, and at just over $30 no pain was inflicted.

She was relieved that she had a slight rest from the mains and was now craving for dessert, and when I saw what was coming out to the other tables I didn’t need much convincing. Although I was almost ‘choc-a-block!,’ she wisely chose Passionfruit Cheese Cake with berry compote and homemade vanilla ice cream and loved every morsel, while I opted for the Poached Pear in Red Wine, because I couldn’t resist the Marscapone cream that accompanied it – Both dishes were around $10 each.

So captivated by the beautiful food we had eaten, I’d forgotten to refer to the wine we were being plied with throughout the evening! We indulged by the glass, from an enormous selection of Australian and New Zealand Red and White wines, experimenting with South Australian whites with our seafood, such as Chapel Hill Chardonnay, Norfolk Rise Pinot Grigio and a NZ Belmonte Sauvignon Blanc – coming in at under $10 a glass, but well worth it. If I had chosen red meat for my main I would have succumbed to a marvellous choice of Barossa Valley and Mclaren Vale Shirazes, and a Franklin River Ferngrove Shiraz Voignier which has a big reputation – perhaps another time!

So what a scrumptious feast the whole occasion was, and if we were paying we would have escaped to the food component for just over $100 for the two of us!

Sugar Reef, you have further convinced us that Fitzroy Street is again fast becoming a definite must attend dining area, like the old days of previous great gourmet spots in St Kilda!


Sugar Reef Restaurant & Bar

23 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda

Phone: (03) 95254655 for reservations

Open 7 days – Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

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