Fabulous sea views, desserts made for dreaming…it’s no wonder that Stokehouse is a Melbourne institution.
There’s nothing quite like summer in Australia. The air can swish from a cool breeze to an arid, water-sucking tendril. No people in any part of the world quite worship the sun as Australians do. If we can’t get it here, we will migrate in the winter months to South-East Asia, South Pacific and to some degree, the Indian Ocean. “Real summer” is a rare occurence in Melbourne, and when it does happen, MoMo & Coco race to the beaches of Brighton or St Kilda for a seaside stroll with the Coco entity of MoMo & Coco.
Stokehouse on the St Kilda foreshore has been a long time favourite of MoMo & Coco and our family. Although our parents have, we have yet to dine upstairs, saving that experience for something rather special. 😉 However, we have visited downstairs many many many times, and it is this less formal area that we document here. With a frontage exuding a converted beach house character, the airy, informal downstairs dining area is furnished in simple monochrome lines. Tables are arranged to allow patrons to take in the best of the sea views, and there are also lounges to cater for those who prefer a lazy cocktail twilight hour. Long floor-to-ceiling glass windows overlook a terraced outdoor seating area and the St Kilda beach. It’s picture-perfect during day, afternoon and night.
Divided into “to share, salads & vegetables, pizza & pasta, meats & fish,” Stokehouse Downstairs’ a la carte menu skates across the neo-classical Meditteranean flavours that appeals to almost every palate and budget. We have worked our way through most parts of the menu, most of which are simple, solidly-executed, tasty fare. MoMo & Coco would recommend the pizzas ($16-24) especially, perfect for relaxed, casual beachside eating.
There are four dessert options available at Stokehouse, of which the affogato is a non-dessert and the lemon ricotta cake somewhat average. No, follow our lead and go for the ice cream options, they are not boring ice cream options here though. The first irresistible we shall tell you about is the “Dark Ale Icecream” ($14), simply presented in a cone-shaped glass and sprinkled with a crumble of divine salted caramel peanuts. It was a consistently boozy dessert (quite potent in fact), especially perfect for all those men in your life who lack a sweet tooth and never quite comprehend your own sweet cravings. Let them have this ice cream before or after a shopping expedition, and you will be guaranteed to have peace. 😛
The second irresistible that we shall tell you about from Stokehouse is the more tropically-inclined ice cream option of the “Fresh Mango, Rum & Chilli Syrup, Mint Gelato, Coconut Wafer” ($14). It’s a veritable flavour explosion — every component alleged is expressed, no misleading misrepresentation at Stokehouse, unlike at other dining venues. The mint of the gelato is refreshingly biting, the mango succulent and sweet, the rum syrup boozy and yielding a kicking endnote of chilli, the wafer is just-subtly coconut. Order this, eat it, gaze at the sea views outside, and one can almost imagine oneself on a tropical island. It’s truly a dessert made for dreaming.
On this blog-documented visit, and on countless other past visits all the way stretching back to our childhood days, service at Stokehouse is consistently excellent. Patrons of all ages and all other backgrounds are made to feel welcome and that’s far more than can be said of the condescension and pretension increasingly prevalent at other Melbourne restaurants. Welcoming, friendly, timely, there’s really not very much to complain about at all with regard to Stokehouse.
We might be lynched for saying this by some Melbournites, but MoMo & Coco are of the good opinion that WA has far better beaches than Victoria. If WA has the fabulous Indiana on Cottesloe beach, then we have the equally fabulous Stokehouse on St Kilda beach. Casual, but thoughtfully-prepared food of good portions, reasonable prices, appealing simplicity. Lovely service whether you dine as a couple, group, elderly, young, family. Especially perfect for your summer pilgrimage to the beach and/or while viewing beautiful sunsets at any other time of the year. It’s no wonder that Stokehouse has long been Melbourne dining institution..and a MoMo & Coco favourite.
Dessert adventure checklist
- ☑ Dessert destination: Stokehouse Bar & Grill, 30 Jacka Boulevard, St Kilda, Vic 3182.
- ☑ Budget: $$-$$$.
- ☑ Sweet irresistibles: Restaurant dessert. Neo-classical Mediterranean/European.
- ☑ Must-eat: Any sundae.
- ☑ The short and sweet story: Fabulous sea views, desserts made for dreaming…it’s no wonder that Stokehouse is a Melbourne institution.