This breezy bar and diner delivers big coastal holiday energy via a fire-driven menu heavy on ocean flavours.
October 19, 2022
Overlooking the beach from high on The Esplanade, St Kilda bar and restaurant LOTI leans into its seaside location with breezy looks and a fire-driven Mediterranean-style offering.
An acronym for Lady of the Ice, the moniker is 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, complemented by soothing hues of sand, peach and soft green, and all imbued with big coastal holiday energy.
Head Chef Elijah Holland ( Lûmé , NOMA Australia, Aria and Quay) 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.
In the snacky corner, you'll find bites like scampi skewers — butter-poached, grilled and finished with a kelp glaze ($14) — along with house-made seafood and meat charcuterie, yellowfin tuna mousse cornettos ($10), and an artichoke tarte tatin ($18). There's even a signature ceviche that comes topped with its own flavour-packed 'ice rink', waiting to be broken and dispersed through the ingredients below ($29).
A beach spinach spaghettini features wild mushrooms, asparagus and sheep milk pecorino ($36); wild venison is matched with blackcurrant and mountain pepper ($55); and the grilled squash with a smoked kelp and mushroom butter promises one heck of a side dish ($14). Phone ahead to try the whole barbecued lobster with lemon-scented tea tree and kelpditalini pasta (MP).
Meanwhile, co-owner Cameron Northway (Cocktail Porter, drinks agency Sweet&Chilli, Bondi's Rocker) steers an equally strong drinks offering. Cocktails run to locally-accented interpretations of the classics — perhaps a Dirty Martini with uni butter vodka and vermouth, or the Cooler's pairing of cacao and river mint-infused white rum. And 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.
Images: Parker Blain