EveLovelle was invited to dine as guest at Araliya
St Kilda welcomes head chef, Sam Wedande, an acclaimed chef who has 30 years of experience working at his previous restaurant at Araliya
has since then moved to St Kilda, and improved its menu featuring modern interpretation of Sri Lankan inspired cuisines. Sam Wedande has talents that allows him to construct his own recipes. He has the ability to mix cultural Sri Lankan spices and create something spectacular and unique.
Sri Lanka is traditionally well known for its great street side food vendors. Araliya’s philosophy is to elevate that idea to serve more modern and contemporary dishes using local ingredients. Araliya St Kilda meal prices range from 18AUD-27AUD for entrees and 24AUD-65AUD for larger plates.
The venue of Araliya is undoubtedly sophisticated, charming in a sense as it captivates the eye with textured wall panels, its collection of sleek wines scoured from around the world. What I love about Araliya is that no matter how casual or formal you choose to gear, you would not feel out of place.
Strawberry Chilli Cocktail + Basil Cocktail
We started out with two sample shots of cocktail that bartender Dan has kindly prepared for us. The Strawberry Chilli Cocktail was a surprise as we have never thought of putting those two flavours together, but it did work. The strawberry flavour was distinct while the chili flavour was almost undetected, but the spice came kicking in after the shot. I mean.. whoa, that was unexpected. The Basil Cocktail on the other hand was more expected. It tasted like basil of course, which in liquid form was more rejuvenating than it would as a leaf.
Godamba Roti, 22AUD
I have strong devotion towards roti prata and roti godamba is similar to that. This Sri Lankan roti have wagyu beef in it that was juicy and abundantly flavoursome. We absolutely love the crispy and meaty combo, it was one of my favourite dishes of the night.
Steamed Cabbage Rolls, 8AUD
Inside the well steamed cabbage rolls were quinoa and banana blossoms. The flavour was unique as I have never tasted banana flowers before. Banana flowers/blossoms are often associated with Thai and Indian cuisine. I expected fresh, crunchy, maybe banana-like flavour but I did not receive all that. The flavour was more elusive, and the texture was as soft as mushrooms when cooked in such manner. It was a rather tasty and special dish for me as the experience was unusual.
Scallops In A Hopper, 22AUD
I love scallops and I love crispy pancake hoppers, hence a lovely creation. There was curry with aromatic spices to tie both elements together. The scallops were definitely cooked to perfection as it does not have that chewy texture from overcooking.
Lamb Frikkadels, 11AUD
Araliya nailed its Lamb croquettes and we fancied how it was able to maintain its moist texture within while keeping the outside crumb crusty. Cumin seeds managed to glue itself on the crumbs and it gave the frikkadels a more distinct aroma, with a more earthy and nutty taste. The mint puree on the side manages to freshen the savoury dish that adds acidity to the balance.
Vegetarian Nirvana, 26AUD
Vegetarian Nirvana is a platter for Vegetarians cooked in various styles. Spices are mixed to every bowl so each and everyone of it tastes different. Its also served in unhulled red rice, eaten as a traditional Sri Lankan meal.
Araliya Chicken, 29AUD
Araliya prides itself from using fresh produce and healthier food options. The chicken is free range sourced from Milawa, Victoria. We definitely tasted distinct flavoured spices such as cardamom and cinnamon in the curry.
Saffron Rice, 6AUD
The rice developed such a beautiful golden colour from the saffron that was used. Fragrance is integral in determining the taste and quality of food, and the Saffron Rice really brought out the a sweet smelling aroma. The rice tasted especially delicious when paired with the spiced Araliya Chicken.
Steamed Fish, 19AUD/36AUD
The fish was filleted flawlessly with no bones in sight. The fish was the hero of the dish with strong flavours of the actual meat, enhanced with pickled ginger and coriander puree. The citrusy green and sour pink was a great combination and we all absolutely adored the complementary colours that resembles a flower.
Pork Belly, 17AUD/28AUD
The Pork Belly received a standing ovation amongst everyone of us on the table and it was indeed the best dish of the night. The pork was moist despite having a crusted exterior. The fat was rendered with only a thin layer of it left, which makes it more pleasant to eat. The spices coating the pork belly include strong flavours such as cumin and cardamom. The sauce was sweet with a hint of tamarind on it. The only flaw would be that we wished there were more of it.
Steamed Coconut Custard, Banana Sorbet, 15AUD
The coconut custard screams Asian in a plate. The custard has both coconut and banana flavour. A hint of crunch was used to add more depth to the texture, and the crunch used was crumbled cashew nuts.
Milk Chocolate Mousse, Sweet Potato Custard, Salted Caramel, Hazelnut Crumble, 15AUD
Never would I have thought that chocolate would go so well with sweet potatoes. The texture of both the chocolate mousse and sweet potato custard was rather similar. The balance of the cold and sweetness from the chocolate, with the sweet but subtle saltiness from the sweet potato was an incredible concoction of flavours. The addition of the crumbs also builds texture to this dish. This dessert plate is extremely well balanced and it blew our minds, it was just amazing!
You can always sit at the bar if you are here solo or in a pair. There is something calming about staring at wine cabinets and looking at bartender mixing drinks that allures our senses don’t you think?
I absolutely love the experience at Araliya
as my palate was surprised with something completely different than I was used to. First of all, how often can we get Sri Lankan food in Melbourne? And with chef Sam Wedande elevating Sri Lankan street style food.. Now that’s, one of a kind! I enjoyed this unusual endeavour and would recommend Araliya
as a place to visit if you are looking for a unique find. Every dish managed to tick all the boxes. I reckon this place is great for birthday events, family functions or just hanging out with the colleagues after work.
157 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda
Melbourne, Victoria 3182
Tel: +(61) 03 9078 6757
Mon to Wed: 6pm-11pm
Thu to Fri: 12pm-3pm
Sat to Sun: 6pm-11pm