Birthday sparkler with a side of ice-cream

St Katherine’s

26 Cotham Road, Kew

St Katherine's

She says:
It was my birthday last Tuesday and Gerard sweetly took the day off work so that he could guarantee he’d be in Melbourne (last year he wasn’t even in the country, that didn’t go down well). I didn’t think there was much point in him being here if I was at work all day so I took leave as well and we played uni students for the day. As part of the not-working birthday celebrations we went to St Katherine’s for lunch with my best friend and her BFWGHD.

My parents had been to St Katherine’s not long after it opened (yes, I’m now following trends from my parents) and weren’t super impressed but I think it was largely because they were expecting a very traditional Greek restaurant which St Katherine’s certainly isn’t. When we were there the main clientele were squarely in the middle aged ladies who lunch category which maybe explains why my parents had been and I hadn’t. The restaurant was bright and airy. It was huge though, it looked like it had been fitted out to seat as many people as possible. I didn’t feel cramped, but Tuesday lunch clearly isn’t their busiest time and I can imagine that if it were full it could be a little too loud and chaotic.

The service was really good but again I’ve heard mixed reports and feel like the negative reviews probably have a lot to do with the restaurant getting busier. When we went though I found the service friendly and efficient. Also the waitress put a sparkler in my dessert after she overhead that it was my birthday, that was nice.


I’ll talk more about the food in a second but thought that I’d share my overall impression. I thought the food was good, but for the most part not spectacular (as you’ll see below though Gerard loved it). It’s not a traditional greek style meal but it’s not claiming to be either. It’s modern food with a bit of a greek bent and I enjoyed it. Would I book weeks in advance? Probably not. I would definitely go back but probably not when it’s completely full because I feel like it’s the sort of place where you really benefit from a more relaxed atmosphere.

On a side note the four of us spent the night watching Kim’s Fairytale Wedding – A Kardashian Event which happened to be shown for the first time on my birthday (I say first time because E! has replayed it at least once a day since). Best birthday present I could ask for.

He says:
After an uncharacteristically neglectful 2010 birthday, I decided to take a day off work for Margaret’s birthday this year. So, with an entire day of freedom from the pinstripe prison, we decided we needed to go somewhere nice for lunch. We’ve wanted to go to St. Katherine’s, the new Press Club Group restaurant in Kew, for a while now, with the only problem being that it’s normally booked out weeks in advance. Luckily, Tuesday lunch is not a particularly busy time.

I was initially convinced that the 6 course share menu was the way to go, but after sitting down in the restaurant with Marg, her BFF and boyfriend, we decided to just pick random items from the menu. The menu is an eclectic collection of dishes, with traditional Greek dishes such as lamb kebab, and more modern comfort dishes such as a bucket of fried chicken. I have a weakness for anything served in a bucket.

The service was attentive, but not overbearing. Our selection of dishes arrived quickly and consistently; we were never left waiting for the next course. Granted, there weren’t that many people in the surprisingly large restaurant (although there were more than our photos suggest). I imagine it could be a very different experience of you went at night.

I loved the food, with the standout for me being the KFC “St Katherine’s fried chicken”, served in a bucket. The tiny pieces of chicken were deliciously tender and addictive. If you can squeeze a cheeky weekday lunch in at St Katherine’s, do it. Otherwise, get ready to book and wait. It’ll be well worth it.

We ate:
The four of us shared a bunch of dishes from the sharing menu. Most of the dishes we ordered were from the ‘stuff’ section of the menu rather than the more mains-like section. We went a little overboard, I didn’t really notice how overboard until I sat down to write out this list. Lucky it was my birthday and lunch extended over about 3 hours.

We started with olives poached in olive oil and maltese fel fel ($6).


We also had the spiced braised rabbit croquettes with minted pea salad ($9.50). I really liked these, they were tasty. The peas were also delicious. I’m not quite sure what makes some peas better than others, but whatever it is these had plenty of it.

Braised rabbit croquettes, minted pea salad

Next up was the raki cured kingfish with preserved lemon, orange blossom and popcorn shoots ($16). This was probably one of the highlights of the meal, the fish was great.

Raki cured kingfish preserved lemon, orange blossom and popcorn shoots

The turkish lamb dumplings with garlic yoghurt, sumac and dried mint ($18) weren’t exactly what I expected. They were definitely more dumpling skin than lamb and we all found the yoghurt a little overwhelming, in the end everything just tasted like yoghurt.

Turkish lamb dumplings with garlic yoghurt, sumac, dried mint

Hands down Gerard’s favourite dish was the KFC St Katherine’s fried chicken with BBQ sauce and Japanese mayo ($24 for a full bucket). The chicken was tender with a crispy coating and wasn’t particularly salty. I probably would have added more salt.

Fried chicken with barbeque sauce and mayo

The chicken was pretty good though, especially dipped in a mix of BBQ sauce and mayo.


We had the pide #1 which was filled with mint, ricotta, haloumi and peppered figs ($15). I’ve said before that I’m a huge haloumi fiend, I can’t criticise anything with haloumi in it. Even without the haloumi this would’ve been tasty.

Pide with mint, ricotta, haloumi and peppered figs

Gerard chose the Adana (turkish lamb kebab with heirloom tomatoes – $24). The meat was god but nothing super memorable.

Turkish lamb kebab with heirloom tomatoes

Sides-wise we had the chips with taramasalata ($9.50) which were good.

Chips with tarama

We also had the leaves (dehyrdrated shankleesh, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds and pomegranate – $9.50). The salad was good although the lettuce was a little whelming. Pomegranate made up for it though.

Salad with dehydrated shankleesh, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds and pomegranate

Next up was (yes, we were still going) the rice pilaf with dill, apricot, carrot and toasted pumpkin seeds ($9.50). This was another one of my favourites, if I were going again I’d get more than 1 serve between 4.

Rice pilaf with dill, apricot, carrot and toasted pumpkin seeds

Finally we moved on to dessert. I said that I was too full and couldn’t possibly do dessert but Gerard vetoed me and ordered dessert anyway because it was my birthday. The four of us spit two desserts. The first was the whippy #2 (whippy ice cream with salted caramel, pomegranate brownie and chocolate pomegranate sauce – $9.50). The pomegranate had us again, it was really good.

Ice cream with salted caramel, pomegranate brownie and chocolate pomegranate sauce

Finally finally we had the peanut butter parfait with chocolate sorbet, baklava crumbs and orange blossom foam ($14.90). Personally I prefer the similar dessert at Golden Fields, the orange blossom foam didn’t really do it for me. The baklava crumbs were amazing though. Really, great.

Peanut butter parfait chocolate sorbet, baklava crumbs and orange blossom foam

How much?
With our very generous selection of dishes (plus some drinks) we ended up at almost exactly $50 a head (which for the record is $25 less than the $75 a head 6 course meal without drinks that Gerard was planning to order).

In the end:
Some of us loved it, some of just thought it was ok. The food was consistently good (some say great, others will stick with good) and there was service to match. From other reviews it sounds like the hot tip is to avoid busy times and head there for lunch or maybe a mid week dinner.

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