Fo0die dined as a guest of Saint Evie and as such, the rating does not give any consideration to customer service.
Straight after work on a gloomy cold Friday, we took route 67 tram from the CBD and arrived at the venue at 6pm. Saint Evie is part of the Crest Hotel group and despite the weather, our hearts were warmed by the story of how the name ‘Saint Evie’ came about.
Named after a girl, Evie, who would visit the hotel (which was formerly known as Beverly Crest Hotel back then) and would pack away the leftovers to take around to the homeless of St Kilda every day. Something that the venue clearly wants to continue and hopes to eventually work with organisations to continue her work.
On entry to the venue there’s a small lounge area against a beautiful piece of wall art on the right. A flight of stairs on the left side leads to what will be a future project in the very near future.
At the back of the venue is a neon pink Saint Evie sign which sits above the bar with seating around the bar for some drinks and nibbles. The venue seating can be arranged depending on the amount of guests anticipated for a particular day. And the day of our visit, both sides had seating with some seats looking outwards to the outdoor area which has no roof over the top but has umbrellas for a nicer day.
Saint Evie’s menu is all about sharing of food (paying tribute to their name and how that name came about). The head chef, Andrew Hosking, who comes up with the menu, describes Saint Evie’s menu as modern Australian with Asian influences. That night, we were treated to a degustation style menu which the venue would like to offer from time to time to keep things interesting for their frequent customers.
We started with two starters from their bar/side section of the menu. The spiced edamame was warm, flavoursome and just slightly spiced to open up your appetite for the rest of the degustation. While the beetroot bites was a crisp and fresh. The dish itself was well balanced with the sweetness of the beets mixed with the citrus of the orange, the earthy crispiness of the nuts and creaminess and saltiness of the goats cheese. We knew we were in for a treat after these two dishes!
The next three dishes were from their ‘Tastes of Evie’ section of the menu. Mr J’s favourite of the night was the Kingfish sashimi which was so fresh with that lovely natural fish flavour (not the stinky kind!). And combined with a light burst of citrus bitter flavour from the grapfruit, this was a lovely light dish to share. My favourite was the seared tuna which sat on top of green seaweed salad. I personally loved the combination of the roasted seaweed along with the sesame and seaweed salad.
Next up was the 24 hour slow cooked sticky beef rib served with a roasted cauliflower which is not on their menu (something the venue likes to encourage and actually do is create things off the menu and experiment a bit with whats in season and ideas that just suddenly pop into their head). The beef had a lovely caramelised crust on the outside with tender meat on the inside and with the addition of the daikon, it helped cut through all that meat on the plate.
I love a good roasted cauliflower but this one with the sweet beetroot puree, roasted pine nuts and harissa sauce for the chilli kick, took it that one notch up.
Nearing the home run of the degustation style menu and almost spilling out of our pants, we had their beautiful zucchini flowers. The venue likes to keep things very local and this dish utilised a pale ale beer from Mornington Peninsula for their beer batter; you can actually taste the pale ale. And with the onion, eggplant and raisin combo underneath, it gave the zucchini flowers another dimension of flavour which we enjoyed (Mr J definitely did!).
The huge plate of rib eye had apparently been slowly cooking on the grill the moment we stepped through the door and impressively it was still red/pink inside. With a marble score of 6-7, the meat was indeed tender and juicy and we were stuffed.
Each dish that we tried was well balanced and perfectly executed by a head chef who probably was younger than us! They were well thought out in terms of balance of flavours and textures. All we can say is that the hotel guests at Crest Hotel and Melbourne are in for a treat!
Dishes that make up this review
- Warm salted spiked edamame ($7)
- Beetroot bites, peanut, goats cheese and orange blossom dressing ($9)
- Kingfish sashimi; Hiramasa king fish, avocado puree, ruby grapefruit, white soy dressing, shiso ($17)
- Seared tuna; lightly seared tuna, wakame, sesame, soy sauce and pickled ginger ($17)
- Beef rib; 24hr slow cooked sticky beef rib, daikon ($24)
- Roasted cauliflower; beetroot puree with roasted pine nuts and harissa sauce
- Zucchini flowers; tempura zucchini flowers of ricotta, mint lemon and ginger served with eggplant ($30)
- Rib eye; 750g Gippsland grass fed rib eye