Recently opened LOTI entices diners with offerings from the land and sea.
Making its home at the base of the Saint Moritz building on The Esplanade in St Kilda, LOTI is the new kid on the beachfront block. LOTI, or Lady Of The Ice, pays homage to the heritage and community of the Saint Moritz area, formerly being the site of St Moritz Ice Rink for four decades until 1981.
The coastal surroundings are a key influence in the design of the restaurant, featuring stone flooring and sandy wood punctuated by gold finishes. A wavy central bar and curved banquette seating, alongside the earthy colour scheme, provide a relaxed yet luxurious vibe.
At the forefront of the open kitchen is head chef Elijah Holland (Lume, NOMA Australia, Aria, Quay). He combines various techniques including cooking over flames, curing, fermenting and preserving, as well as striving to make everything from scratch. From his travels around the world, visiting local producers weekly and foraging with his team, Holland’s cooking style is exemplified in his unique dishes.
With a menu inspired by nature and the coastline, dabbled with hints of Mediterranean influences, LOTI provides a variety of dishes ideal for sharing. Showcasing a mix of seafood, red meat and vegetarian options, LOTI’s menu is a more sophisticated version of “surf and turf”.
To commence, try the butter poached and grilled scampi skewer with kelp glaze, simple yet appetizing. The kale, black garlic and kohlrabi taco are delicious bit-size morsels that will be unlike any other taco you will have tried.
Confuse your senses with the smoked yellowfin tuna mouse cornetto with albacore tuna mojama. Though it may look like a dessert, your taste buds will tell you otherwise.
Be sure to try the artichoke tarte tatin with brandy-washed cow milk cheese. A perfectly flaky pastry with flavoursome toppings are the ideal combination for this vegetarian dish.
For the carnivores, the Galician grass-fed MB +3 bone in striploin with olive and coastal herb emulsion is an obvious choice, allowing the flavours of the meat to speak for itself. The russet potato crisps with kelp salt and vinegar are ridiculously crunchy and the perfect side.
If you feel like splurging, opt for LOTI’s whole lobster butter poached and wrapped in kelp, barbequed with lemon scented tea tree and kelp ditalini pasta.
No feast is complete without dessert. The burnt marshmallow sorbet with macadamia honey and coastal tea tree provides bursts of citrus with every mouthful and is topped with house-made gummies. The favourite, taking three days to make, is the magnum. Comprised of roasted chestnut, anise myrtle and Daintree Forest chocolate, it is worth going to LOTI just for this sweet.
An array of tipples will quench your thirst including locally sourced beers, wines and cocktails. Classic cocktails are amplified with native herbs and unique garnishes.
Although it may be on the chilly side in Melbourne at this time of year, LOTI provides a cosy and relaxed environment for dinner with friends, a cute date night or a solo venture for a post-work drink and snack.