26 Cotham Road
Kew, VIC 3101
(03) 9207 7477
Helloo everyone! I’m sorry I’ve been on a bit of a posting hiatus as of late.. the reason being I recently returned from a trip to Fiji with Bf-B. That and I really haven’t been eating anything interesting lately (sometimes all a girl wants is vegemite on toast, am I right?) But I am pleased to report I am well rested and ready to return to blogging! First up, a trip to George Calombaris’s St Katherine’s in Kew with the family.
Father-T suggested we visit as a sort of welome-home-dinner for me (we didn’t think it was fair I had to cook my own meal!). It was a good choice I thought, given the family vibe the place has going – the menu is focused on sharing, with lots of traditional Greek favourites such as dips, haloumi, kibbeh, and pides, as well as a few Middle-Eastern surprises from partner Shane Delia.
To begin with, we ordered the fez roasted pumpkin dip with honey and cinnamon ($8.50) as my nickname for Sister-A is Fez (long story). I thought it was a bit too sweet and the flavour of the pumpkin was lost in the honey, though I loved how they served the bread in a little brown paper bag. Father-T also requested the fried baby calamari with lemon, Aleppo pepper, garlic and taramasalata ($16.00). I loved this one – the salty taramasalata was a great accompaniment to the calamari, which had a gentle hit of spice from the aleppo pepper.
Our very attentive waitress then asked if we’d like to try the grilled flat bread brushed with olive oil and Za’atar ($6.50) to mop up the extra pumpkin dip. Baked in house, it was lovely and soft, however, I would have liked a little more seasoning to bring out the flavour of the seasonings.
Two more starters followed: raki cured salmon with preserved lemon, orange blossom, and popcorn shoots ($16.00) and lamb kibbeh served with a herb salad ($14.00). I think the salmon was my favourite of the starters, perhaps as it reminded me of the salmon gravlax we make at Christmas. The kibbeh was nice too, although it was slightly undercooked with the meat still pink when we cut into it (though perhaps this was intended?). Alongside it was a bed of fresh herbs which I loved.
For mains, we ordered the cinnamon rubbed pork belly with Ted Delia’s roast peanut sauce ($27.50). I thought the pork was a bit fatty – pork belly is quite fatty I know, but I don’t think it had been rendered sufficiently, as I found myself chewing on large chunks of fat. The peanut sauce was delicious though.
We also ordered “off the rotisserie”, mixture of the day’s slow roasted meats which when we visited was lamb and chicken ($27.50). At the back of the restaurant is an open kitchen, with a massive rotisserie reminiscent of your favourite late-night souvlaki shop. It may not have looked the most amazing dish, but it definitely delivered on flavour.
For sides, we ordered the leaves salad, with dehydrated shankleesh, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, and pomegranate ($9.50), as well as a side of chips served with tarama ($9.50). The salad was unremarkable, but the tarama with the chips – amazing. Tarama is the new aioli.
Even though the others were full, I insisted we get dessert, knowing that everyone would have some anyway. I had been craving doughnuts all week, so when I saw the choc chip mousse and hot cherry jam doughnuts, whiskey jelly and choc chip mousse ($14.90) I knew what I would be ordering. Sister-E liked the sound of the “Whippy 2”, the second of two “Mr Whippy” sundae options – salted caramel, pomegranate brownie and chocolate pomegranate sauce ($9.50).
When dessert arrived, the family tucked in. Fullness was forgotten. Everyone knows dessert is a different stomach. I loved the sourness of the cherry at the center of the doughnuts – not your typical hot jam doughnut. The sundae meanwhile was also deliciously indulgent. Vanilla ice cream melting into a gewy chocolate brownie, with little pomegranate jewls adding some crunch. Yum. Dessert was perhaps the best course of the entire meal!
All in all it was a good night. Due to a late booking, we were seated at the enormous communal table at the back of the restaurant, which made it difficult to hold a conversation between the 5 of us. Still, I loved the casual yet classy feel of the place, and the little details of the food presentation such as the paper bag the bread arrived in, and the stripy sundae cup. The service we received was faultless – our waitress’ attentiveness ensured both parents left a generous tip, which doesn’t often happen. Will definitely be back.