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Posts Tagged ‘St Kilda’

This past weekend we visited St. Kilda Esplanade Market. On since 1970, the market is located on the Esplanade in St. Kilda.  Open every Sunday it features works from over 200 local artists and craftspeople.

There are all sorts of handmade crafts from wood, glass, photographs, paintings, recycled materials, resin, and more.  Although it doesn’t rival some of the bigger arts and crafts markets, it has the advantage of being right on the Esplanade overlooking the St. Kilda beach which gives the market a special feeling.

We took home some business cards from a few artists whose works we may pick up before we head home but on the whole we were keeping our wallets in our pockets (or purse, in my case).  We weren’t in the mindset to splurge.  And, as it so often goes, just when we weren’t searching for anything, we found something exciting.

Ryan can claim this major find.  I say “major” in its significance to us, not in its size.  It’s a rather small piece, no bigger than a foot each way.  It’s a hand-painted work by Aussie artist, Karen Mason.  It’s painted on wooden panels with acrylic and gouache paint.  There are three separate sections fused together to form a complete cohesive image.  And best of all, it’s called The Adventure.

We loved the symbolism of the piece given our situation and Ryan loved the colors which reminded him of the Australian outback.  It doesn’t quite come through in the photo but there are also lovely hints of green and even a little purple.  It’s our first major piece of art bought in Australia, although we have looked at quite a few.  Now, on to Pinterest to find an appropriate color palette for the non-existent room this will feature in.  🙂

The artist, Karen Mason, does not have a website but can be reached at (03) 9531 8293 and is a regular at The Esplanade Market.

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If you’ve been following our blog you’ll know that our outings are dictated by our ever-growing stack of Scoopon and Living Social deals.  The latest, of which, brought us to Robarta on Fitzroy Street in Saint Kilda.  Ranging from 3.5 to 4.5 stars — depending on your restaurant review site of choice — I had high expectations.  Thankfully this trendy tapas bar lived up to its reputation.

We had an early booking on a Sunday evening so had our choice of tables.  We sat at a high top that looked out onto Fitzroy (gotta’ love Melbourne’s open-air dining).

Once seated we were immediately greeted by a pleasant gent who was a lovely balance of attentive-but-not-intrusive the whole meal.  With our Scoopon deal we started with a bowl of Miso soup each.  It was yummy and just a tad on the salty side, which Ryan loved.  We were off to a great start.

We ordered four tapas, mainly staying with an Asian theme.  The Garlic Chicken with sweet and sour sauce came out first with the chicken and pork spring rolls, along with the complementary fried rice.  These dishes were quickly followed by the Shanghai dumplings and spiced chicken wings.

Each dish was surprising, in a good way.  The chicken wings had a dipping sauce that I likened to an upscale version of A1 steak sauce and Ryan nearly licked the little bowl clean.  At first bite, the fried rice is pretty ordinary but the more you have, the more you taste special something.  It’s not earth-shattering gourmet cuisine but it’s good, bordering on very good.

We were happy with the tapas and comfortably full.  But we would not have missed the dessert, which was, by far the highlight of the meal.  It’s not odd that I would say that about a dessert because I believe that ending dinner on a sweet note is imperative but my dear hubs is not a slave to his sweet tooth like I am and even he agreed that the desserts were the best part.  Included with our deal was two desserts of choice.  We went with a lovely White Chocolate Panna Cotta which is described on the menu as “light, silky smooth cream and white chocolate custard with seasonal fruits and a drizzle of sticky red wine syrup”.  We also chose the Apple Mango Coconut Crumble which can only be described as “yuummmmmmm”. 

Ryan also enjoyed dessert with a latte which we — as emerging coffee snobs — can say was very well done.  The Scoopon deal made this little spot very affordable but even without it, we’ll be back to Robarta.
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We were blessed with beautiful weather this past weekend (think 70s and sun) so we ventured to St. Kilda for lunch and a relaxing afternoon at the beach.  We enjoyed a lunch at Little Blue, a popular little restaurant on the St. Kilda Pier.

We had a Living Social deal and were looking forward to checking out this Melbourne hot spot.  Apparently in the past, this little spot received a bad reputation for poor food and service but what we experienced was anything but that.  To start, Ryan had the pork terrine, organic sour dough, parsley caper & shallot salad and I had the Heirloom carrots, winter vegetables, capers, shallot & Meredith goat’s cheese.

The highlight of this dish was the cheese.  It was the perfect salty balance to the candied walnuts.  When asked, the waiter informed us that it comes from a dairy at Shepparton, of which I’m a new fan.  For our mains, we both ordered fish and chips with pickled shallot and tartare, which were as great as you’d expect from a restaurant on a pier right on the ocean.

After our lunch, Ryan and I walked down the pier back towards the beach and enjoyed beautiful views of our new city behind the masts of sailboats near the pier.

We raved about the delicious lunch we experienced and both agreed that we would be back, Living Social deal or not.  I guess that marketing manager earned his/her wages.

*If you’d like us to review your restaurant or cafe and publish about our experience on our blog, please reach out to us at wheninoz@gmail.com.

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