LOTI Is St Kilda's Breezy New Bar and Diner Celebrating Seafood and Fire

This new St Kilda spot taps into coastal holiday feels with butter-poached scampi skewers and uni-infused martinis overlooking the bay.
Libby Curran
Published on June 23, 2022

St Kilda's newest hospitality addition will quickly make you forget that we're deep into another icy Melbourne winter. Overlooking the beach from the ground floor of The Esplanade's new Saint Moritz precinct, LOTI leans into its seaside location with breezy looks and a fire-driven Mediterranean-inspired offering.

The moniker is an acronym for Lady of the Ice and a nod to the neon signage of a female skater that stood atop the nearby St Moritz ice rink until 1981. But unlike its namesake, there's nothing frosty about LOTI.

Statement curves are a staple of the Mitchell & Eades interiors, backed by natural materials, and soothing hues of sand, peach and soft green. It's a warm, serene space, imbued with the energy of a coastal holiday.

With a resume that includes names like Lûmé , NOMA Australia, Aria and Quay, Head Chef Elijah Holland is heroing the art of cooking over flames, along with ancient techniques like curing, fermenting and preserving. Native ingredients star throughout a seafood-heavy menu that's largely inspired by the local coastline.

Down the lighter end, you'll spy bites like scampi skewers — butter-poached, grilled and finished with a kelp glaze — along with house-made seafood and meat charcuterie, yellowfin tuna mousse cornettos, and an artichoke tarte tatin.

Barley-fed beef tartare features Davidson plum molasses, river mint and mustard greens; wild venison is matched with juniper and mountain pepper; and the rigatoni pasta with baked clams, bower spinach and gruyere promises one heck of a side dish.

Led by co-owner Cameron Northway (founder of Cocktail Porter and owner of Bondi's Rocker) and developed in conjunction with World Class Bartenders from his drinks agency Sweet&Chilli, the drinks offering is equally strong.

A cocktail lineup focuses on locally-accented interpretations of the classics — think, the Dirty Martini with uni butter vodka and vermouth, and the Cooler pairing cacao and white rum that's infused with river mint. Meanwhile, the wine list showcases a wealth of biodynamic and organic Aussie producers, giving special love to those making varietals that hail from the coastlines of Europe.

Find LOTI at 14 The Esplanade, St Kilda. It's open 11am–late Wednesday to Sunday.

Images: Parker Blain

Published on June 23, 2022 by Libby Curran
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