In 1993 the widely popular St. Kilda institution Cicciolina, was established. She has now graced Melbourne with her presence for almost two decades. Serving up heavily influenced European fare in an authentically humble eating environment. You can count on being in good hands as soon as you step in the door. Interestingly enough the restaurant name La Cicciolina was inspired by a multi talented porn star, politician and singer, whose stage name was La Cicciolina (thanks Wikipedia).
When you find yourself in the middle of Acland Street you really couldn’t be positioned closer to the heart of St Kilda. Great location for a fabulous restaurant? – I would say yes! Funnily enough, finding an excellent meal on the the popular Acland Street (Chapel too for that matter) can be a hard pressed challenge for a foodie. This Chommer believes that the highly inflated rents, the stupid tourists and the overall commercial-ness of these streets would be key factors in deterring restauranters from opening. Cicciolina has proven to be one of the most (if not the only) worthwhile destinations on Acland Street.
The combination of the timeless fit out and the friendly staff have managed to create a relaxed environment with enough touch of European culture and sophistication to make Cicciolina one of the better restaurants in Melbourne. The eating space consists of a cosy, small dog leg space with a window front view of Acland Street and a bustling kitchen at the back. Behind the kitchen lies Cicciolina’s own ‘Back Bar’, which is a great place to lounge around on the leather couches, sip cocktails and enjoy a few small sharing plates while you wait for your table. Note: the main entrance is via the lane way adjacent to the restaurant. A strict ‘No Booking’ policy means that if you don’t get here early, you can stroll around St Kilda or drink up in the bar while you wait for your table.
Bread and butter – one of life’s most underrated simple pleasures. Cicciolina serves this to each table as they arrive. I felt the need to express that the bread WITH the butter is an epic combination here. Well worth the calories, carbohydrates and other naughties. Dig in!
I have a sneaking suspicion that the bread is sourced from Baker D Chirico on Fitzroy Street. If that isn’t enough, when your done with your plate, they will replace it with more. Heaven. I was full after 2.5 plates – Not really.
Selection of Antipasto ($20.50). This sharing plate consisted of: dried meats, chorizo slices, sun-dried tomatoes, capsicum, olives and feta with flavoursome accompaniments including a quiche, a frittata, assorted dips (pumpkin and whole white bean with avocado) and one arancini ball. This is an excellent plate to split between two or at a stretch three people. If you go with the latter a second entree would go down well.
Oven baked baby chicken served on chat potatoes and leek rounds with a dijon mustard cream and watercress salad ($35.50). The dressing combined with the leeks and the nicely plump chicky was a winner. The flavours were rich without being over-powering and complemented each other rather well. My only criticism is that I love to eat all that is on my plate however, gnawing on the bone in such a nice place is unacceptable – what a shame!
Premium eye fillet char grilled to order (medium rare – obviously), served with a roasted potato fondant, wilted spinach and a basil and olive oil paste ($40.50). This chommer doesn’t indulge in fine meat even close to as much as he should. Although, saving it for special occasions ensures the ‘wow’ factor remains in tact. Tender, well portioned and full of meaty juice makes for an epic piece of steak. After you have enjoyed this slice of heaven, The Chommery suggests heading on down to either Bistro Thierry in Toorak or France Soir in South Yarra, which also serve excellent fillets.
The only regret of yet another successful night out on the chom, was that we didn’t order the chocolate pudding. Quite frankly, even if we did, chances are there wouldn’t have been enough time to snap a photo before the destruction of it began. Take it from me, the pudding is a must order if you have room. Any how, if Cicciolina is a been there done that, or if you are looking for somewhere new, they recently gave birth to a young, sexy daughter called Ilona Staller at 282 Carlisle Street, Balaclava.
To leave this post on a different note…
Cicciolina fills out extremely quick
Head down early and it will do the trick (6:00pm roughly)
No stress if you get there late
Chill at their groovy bar while you wait
Maybe you could sip some beers
Everybody will say cheers
Once you manage to get inside
You know my heart will be filled with pride
Order from the superb menu
You will see this is a top venue
Cicciolina is the bomb
Go enjoy and chom chom chom
The Important Details…
Cuisine: European / International
Bookings: No, sorry
Suitable For: appreciators of fine chomming. Not suitable for babies.
Dress: Smart casual
Price: $60 per head with an alcoholic beverage
My View: Cicciolina is like a great bottle of red – keeps getting better
Address: 130 Acland Street, St Kilda
Phone: (03) 9525 3333
The single thought that cannot escape my mind every time I think of the St. Kilda Galleon Cafe is ‘consistency’. It is a basic fundamental concept that a customer would expect in continual interactions with any business. More often than not, you would be hard pressed to find many cafes that are consistent in serving up excellent cafe fare, extracting smooth coffees and staying competitive with their pricing. Look no further than Galleon if the above mentioned criteria floats your vessel.
You will find The Galleon nestled nicely at the beginning of cosmopolitan Carlisle Street in St Kilda and just far enough from the intersection of the ever iconic Acland Street. For The Chommery, we strongly prefer cafes located slightly off the main drag for the simple reasons that the prices are often cheaper and the crowd attracted generally ‘want’ to go to the cafe, rather than it be just a place to eat and leave. Outside, Galleon is comprised of some multi-coloured and assorted seating along Carlisle Street where you can catch some serious vitamin D when the sun is saying hello.
I adore the fit-out inside; comprising an assortment of old retro mullti coloured tables and a unique array of chairs surely collected from here, there and everywhere. Not to mention the fact that bar a couple of minimal renovations, the look has safely been kept intact for many years.
Galleon seems to rest its reputation on consistently producing simple, yet satisfyingly tasty food demonstrated through an all day breakfast (the best) and a lunch menu from an early 11:00am. Porridges, pancakes and eggs are all completed with a great variety of sides and toppings for breakky. Lunch could be anything from homemade Spanokopita Salad to a vegie burger or even a spiced lamb souvlaki salad.
Soy Late ($4.00) & Long Black ($3.20). No fancy barista styles or single origin blends at this place (which is more than fine), just smooth and ever dependable caffeine hits morning through till afternoon.
The Galleon burger with an egg ($15.80) will generally do the trick if you are looking for a meal of considerable size. Filled with all your standard insides and patty coated with melted cheese, I”m sure y’all can see one of these in front of you soon. Watch out, once the egg’s yolk combines with the beetroot juice it can form quite a spot on your pants or top. The edible pickle garnish works well holding this bad boy together.
A Beef sandwich with salad and cream cheese ($10.00). Sandwiches are a classic. They’re pretty straight forward, yet so many cafes mess them up. For a sandwich, this was fairly decent. There was a good filling to condiment ratio with well-portioned bread slices. I must say, once in a while you just feel like a regular joe and a regular sanga is all that is needed to satisfy.
Poached Eggs ($8.80) with bacon ($3.50) and relish ($1.50) on multi grain. Perfectly poached eggs, crispy bacon and a sweet dressing to coat – Need I say m0re? Well, one more – Heaven!
Scrambled eggs on sourdough ($8.80) with side of mushrooms ($3.50) and sweet potato hash brown ($3.50) on rye bread. No one ever orders scrambled anymore, and to those that do, I salute you! Yellow, soft and buttery couldn’t better describe Galleon’s scrambled. The heavily fried sweet potato bomb on the side works a charm with this and other dishes offered.
Continually drawing a diverse and eclectic range of people, Galleon continues to it’s winning formula a pleasing everyone (well, almost everyone, some people are unpleasable – fact). Galleon opens it’s blinds to the public seven days a week from 7am to 5pm. Don’t be surprised if you spot a celeb or two, maybe even a footy player chomming down some grub at this St Kilda institution. To close my spiel on a powerful note - Galleon is St Kilda. St Kilda is Galleon.
The Important Details…
Suitable For: Young and old
Dress: Whatever Trevor
Price: $15 – $20 per head
My View: A classic spot that rarely faults
Address: 9 Carlisle Street, St Kilda
Phone: (03) 9534 8934