On Friday night we and another couple attended a comedy night at St Kat's upstairs at St Katherines restaurant in Kew. I love Hellenic Republic and Maha so was really looking forward to seeing what Shane Delia and George Colambaris came up with together. At Taste of Melbourne festival last year I tasted both the St Katherines fried chicken and the lamb dumpling and was very impressed by the innovative Middle Eastern/Greek fusion style cuisine.
On this particular visit, there were both impressive dishes and not so impressive dishes in the set menu, and I think considering it catered to 100 people at the same time the restaurant did really well. The staff were friendly and efficient and most of the food was really enjoyable.
As for the comedy, I don't think I have ever laughed so hard. For $45 a head we were treated to four really funny comedians and a pretty good feed. Much better than your average comedy club! There is another comedy night on September the 7th, I really urge anyone to go as it was a really good value night.
Food wise, I was probably least impressed by the first course. We were served some kind of spicy pepper dip, a nutty dip with pomegranate and some kind of nuts, toasted turkish bread, whitebait with aioli and some amazing haloumi stuffed arancini balls. The arancini was definitely the highlight, crispy breadcrumbs on the outside and soft rice and cheesy goodness on the inside. The dips were a little spicy for me, even though I love spicy food I am not a huge fan of spicy dips. The bread was a bit overtoasted and crispy, and I am never a huge fan of whitebait. Craig really enjoyed the entree's though so it may have just been me that wasn't overly impressed.
The next course was a lamb pide, which was nice but not mind-blowing. For me, the toppings were a little bland, just a spiced mince.
From here on, the food got a lot better and I thoroughly enjoyed the rest of the dishes. First part of main was some beautiful char-grilled swordfish, perfectly cooked and seasoned. It was accompanied by an amazing salad, perhaps one of the yummiest I have tasted. On the menu it is described as leaves, dehydrated shankleesh (which we learnt was a dehydrated cheese), hazelnuts, sunflower seeds and pomegranate. The combination of flavours and textures was beautiful, and it was a different taste without being too complicated. In fact the restaurant used hazelnuts in quite a few dishes and it was a really nice addition for both the crunch and the toasted flavour. I could eat this salad every day!
Next platter was mixed meats off the turkish grill (chicken and lamb) with some labne and a rice pilaf with mushrooms, tarragon and hazelnuts. The meat was beautiful, flavoursome and tender. I just love the rice pilaf at Maha and this was slightly similar, beautifully flavoured and the mushrooms and hazelnuts were a great addition.
The desserts were VERY impressive- two huge desserts to share between four. We were absolutely blown away by the peanut butter parfait with chocolate sorbet, baklava crumbs and orange blossom foam. The peanut butter parfait was crumbed with the baklava crumbs and the chocolate sorbet was wonderful. Not 100% sure about the orange blossom foam, which tasted a little like soap, but the other elements of the dish were amazing.
The walnut cake with fig puree, spiced yogurt jelly and lemon sherbet was also really impressive- not my favourite as I have a real sweet tooth, but for a savoury person like Craig this was his favourite dessert. It was very Christmassy with all the spice and the figs, and beautifully presented.
So overall, a very enjoyable night. The comedians were all hilarious in their own way, and despite us probably being the youngest guests in the room, everyone of every age was wiping tears of laughter away. For future reference, the comedians were Bart Freebairn, Nick Cody, Karl Chandler and Xavier Michelides- watch these names as they will definitely make the big time! September 7th is the next comedy show, get tickets soon if you want to have a casual and funny night with some good tucker. I am looking forward to trying St Katherines again soon and working through the menu choosing the dishes I most want to try!