After a devastating fire, St Kilda's Stokehouse has made its comeback — and it's here to stay.
It was an incredibly sad day when iconic St Kilda venue Stokehouse burned down in 2014. But after a three-year hiatus, it returned with a bang, renovated and designated into a 'precinct' of multiple bars and restaurants, adding plenty of glamour to the seaside like only Stokehouse can.
The Van Haandel Group opened the first two stages of the beachside precinct. Fish and chip kiosk Paper Fish followed by ground floor venue Pontoon. But while the 400-capacity casual beachside bar and eatery was an exciting opening, it was certainly no match for the hardcore anticipation that has surrounded the relaunch of the one and only Stokehouse Restaurant, that finally opened in December 2016.
The new building was designed by architect Robert Simeoni which, as well as having a five Green Star rating for sustainability, looks pretty epic due to half of it being covered by a sand dune. After doing a stellar job on Stokehouse's previous 2010 refurbishment, Pascale Gomes McNabb returned to fit out the new restaurant space, which includes a 12.5-metre oval bar and room for 130 diners.
Chef Jason Staudt is on the pans, and his menu kicks off with starters such as roasted southern calamari with caponata and tarragon, beef tartare with Oscietra caviar jacket potato and a premium oyster service. Mains include local rock flathead served with spaghetti squash and fish collar nduja, a Gundagai GLQ 5+ lamb tomahawk with puntarelle and sweetbread and a steamed wild barramundi with pickled dill blossom.
Be sure to stay for dessert and enjoy a strawberry Eton mess with forage frais and black pepper meringue, or a selection of cheeses with condiments and lavosh. Alternatively, dine downstairs to Stokehouse Pasta & Bar if you're feeling in the mood for carbs over seafood — or just a few cheeky seaside cocktails.
Images: Emily Weaving.
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