a couple of weeks ago i was invited to attend a bloggers night at the newly re-launched [stoke] bar + kitchen in alfred place in the city. the name ‘stokehouse’ is synonymous with melbourne, no less so than after the iconic restaurant tragically burnt down in st kilda in early 2014. it has since re-opened in a new super-elegant venue, with the traditional stokehouse city upstairs and the more relaxed [stoke] bar + kitchen on street level. and the downstairs area now has its own personality + look – with a great menu to boot! situated right near the paris-end of collins st, it would be a great way to kick-start a weekend, or for a pre-musical dinner. so whilst it may not be brunch-related, please allow me to indulge you with some other delicious food for a moment if you will?
our night started with paxton organic shiraz + local king valley pizzini prosecco. there were also tequila cocktails on offer, but given it was a wednesday night i went for the more conservative option (call me boring, but i had to back-up with work the next morning!)
the food menu has been designed by head chef sam webb (who has just returned from working as a chef in russia) in consultation with the stokehouse city executive chef ollie gould. there are small appetizers, shared plates and also more substantial dishes on offer, and let me tell you… the food was fantastic!
seasonal oysters natural with charred cucumber mignonette, and oysters kilpatrick with tomato butter + chorizo. any bar serving oysters is a good idea to me… and i am in love with this version of oysters kilpatrick with chorizo. i unabashedly had seconds (or thirds) of these!
these salt + szechuan pepper school prawns with spicy mayo were seriously addictive!
roasted beetroot risotto with horseradish, walnuts + sorrel
brussel sprouts with cotechino sausage + smoked almonds
roast cauliflower with herb yoghurt + brown butter crumbs
smashed pav with coconut ice cream + mandarin. seriously yum! it’s no surprise, given i’m a total sweet tooth, that this was my fave dish of the night (but that’s not to take away from how good the savoury dishes were). the coconut ice cream was super light + refreshing and teemed perfectly with the sweet citrusy mandarin + crunch of the meringue. i unabashedly had seconds (or thirds) of these too!
the interior has been designed by rabindra naidoo, who has worked on venues including journal, pidapipo + neapoli. the combination of parquet herringbone floors, exposed natural timbers and black gloss ‘ombre’ walls’ exudes an intimate, moody + sensual vibe. i’m ‘stoked’ to have experienced this classy place + have no doubt i’ll be going back soon.
(note: inlovewithbrunch was invited by [stoke] bar + kitchen to attend, however all remarks and reviews are honest and genuine)