Saint George

Celebrity chef Karen Martini is running the show at this St Kilda haunt.
Andrew Zuccala
Published on April 30, 2024


In October 2023, Karen Martini's restaurant Hero suddenly closed its doors to the public. It was a shock for the industry. But the author and celebrity chef wasn't gone for long. She soon became Culinary Director of Johnny's Green Room, and then took charge of all things food at Saint George gastropub in St Kilda.

The transformed venue (formerly The Saint Hotel) now includes two distinct drinking and dining spaces: The Tavern and The Grill.

The Tavern is home to some classic gastropub eats like a fried fish burger and veal cotoletta, plus a few fun and more interesting dishes like the potato cake topped with whipped cod roe.

saint george st kilda

But it's within The Grill where Martini is really showcasing her signature contemporary Italian culinary stylings. For one, it is where she is bringing back her much-loved bistecca alla Fiorentina (from when she worked at Melbourne Wine Room). A slew of antipasti dishes and handmade pasta also feature in this more refined part of St Kilda's Saint George.

The drinks menu includes a quirky wine list, along with plenty of Italian-inspired cocktails and some local beers.

saint george st kilda - karen martini's restaurant and gastropub

The backdrop to the food and drink lineup is the newly designed Saint George.

Chris Connell Designs has kept things simple, restoring the exposed brickwork, while placing simple black tables throughout the two spaces and injecting a bit of colour with pleasing earthy hues. A few wall-sized David Band artworks from Martini's personal art collection have also been recreated for the pub, adding to its sleek and contemporary feel.

Martini is leaving her stamp all over the Saint George gastropub in St Kilda, and we are all for it.

Images: Kristoffer Paulsen.


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