Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The Stokehouse - St Kilda

Address: 30 Jacka Boulevard, St Kilda, Victoria 3182
Phone Number: (03) 9525 5555
Functions Phone Number: (03) 9536 1135
Fax Number: (03) 9525 5291
email: stokehouse@theprince.com.au
website: http://www.stokehouse.com.au/

Lunch: 12pm - 2:30pm
Dinner: 6pm - 10pm

7 Days: 12pm - late

Price Range: $17 - $30 for a meal

Reviewer: BEVIS
Date: 6th February, 2007


Wifey, Sweetums and I took several family members out for dinner on Saturday night, and our restaurant of choice was The Stokehouse. We had a pram with us, and required a table for 12 (in order to cater to the pram - we were actually only 10 people).

The specials board promised a lovely-sounding lamb cutlets dish which we were informed had very small portions of lamb cutlets (instead focussing on the mash to fill the plate), so the seven or so of our number who intended to go with the lamb decided instead to order either the risotto or a gourmet pizza.

Naturally, I opted to go with the pizza option. I ordered ‘The Stokehouse’ pizza, which was basically a Mexicana. Wifey went with the risotto. She told me her meal was delicious and it certainly looked yummy (even to a non-rice eater like myself). Meanwhile, my pizza was spicy and perfect. Just the way I like it.

The Stokehouse, as seen from the beach

We dined ‘downstairs’ (there was a wedding reception being held upstairs), and were placed along a corner table. As we had Sweetums with us, we were eating somewhat early, but this meant we were treated to a beautiful sunset across the water – because the restaurant overlooks St Kilda beach.

The layout and organisation of The Stokehouse is such that after being seated, you make up your mind about your order, then walk to the bar and buy your meal and drinks there, giving the server your table number. When the meal comes, you’re free to eat it at your own pace, returning to the bar to buy more drinks if you want them.

This means that you’re not in a big rush to move on (no one is hovering, waiting to give you your bill), and when you finish your meal you can simply walk out (or stay for dessert if you wish). As for our group on Saturday night, we decided to follow our meal with a leisurely walk along St Kilda beach and an ice cream on the esplanade as a reward for avoiding all the syringes.

The Stokehouse (right) overlooking the beach (left)

The Stokehouse features a charming atmosphere, which – although noisy (the tiled floors make all sounds bounce around, creating quite a din which is not helped by the drunken surfers who were yelling at each other across the table) – really lifts the mood of the meal. There can be no doubt that the view helps a lot.

Parking can be a problem, as you’re in St Kilda and it’s $7 for anything longer than two hours, but if you’re travelling by tram or simply walking, it’s “behind Luna Park and a bit to the right”.

Some people (not us) enjoying
the outdoor dining section

Rating: I give The Stokehouse four out of a possible five stars.

Stars: ****