Six years after initially opening its doors, and nearly six months after closing for renovations, Captain Baxter is back slinging lunch, dinner and drinks at the St Kilda Sea Baths. Everything about the beachside restaurant and bar has had a facelift, from the menu to the decor — and with the latter taking inspiration from 20s-style tropical beach bungalows, it's vying to become your next summer hangout.
Inside, Captain Baxter is lighter and brighter. Thanks to a new retractable roof, on a sunny day, the venue means that literally. Another fresh addition is a new vantage over the beach, because pairing your food and beverages with a view is part of the appeal.
With Timothy Martin (ex-The European and Taxi Dining Room) and Adrian Hawkins (ex-Est and Bistrode, Sydney) joining St Kilda Venues' group executive chef Matt Dawson, Captain Baxter's menu is highlights seafood in a big way — think fish and scallop pie, 'hot and numbing' swimmer crab, salt-cooked kingfish, black mussels with sour curry and good ol' fish 'n' chips. Among the standouts that didn't come from the ocean are duck meatballs, char siu pork cutlets and cauliflower steak with miso, recognising the venue's other big influence: Asian-style cuisine.
And, it wouldn't be a beachside spot without cocktails, such as the Pampelle Spritz or the Captains Rum Punch. A small wine list is also available, focusing on quality over quantity.