Saint Peter’s is a new comer to Melbourne – located in a rather less known laneway in the city. However its owner chef is no stranger to Melbourne – Maurice Esposito of Toofeys, Stokehouse and Il Bacarro fame. The pedigree shows in the food.
But Saint Peter’s, essentially a seafood restaurant, boasts a policy of sustainable seafood – which means knowing the provenance of the fish they buy and serve, complying with sustainable fishing guidelines and ensuring that they remain true to the seasons by avoiding purchases of fish during their breeding seasons that may potentially deplete long term fish stocks. They extend this policy also to the non seafood items on the menu. They hope that as restauranteurs create this demand, consumers will demand change and suppliers will have to be dragged along.
The wonderfully vibrant graffiti themes lit in blues splattered on the walls in the lane way outside don’t follow into the restaurant which is rather plain and unremarkable. However the food certainly did not disappoint.
The menu started with small tastes to whet the appetite, followed by a great selection of starters, followed by the mains (which included 2 non seafood items for those that are not keen on seafood).
Northern Territory Mud Crab was in season and so we had exquisitely sweet mud crab from NT, picked and served in a salad of apple, avocado, daikon and garlic mayonnaise. Prepared to perfection such that none of the ingredients overpowered the sweetness and freshness of the crab. The sashimi with fresh horseradish topped with herbs and flowers was a delightful light mix.
The George Whiting was some of the best I have had and was served either in tempura batter or grilled with thin chips. Great selection of salads including fennel and orange with goes beautifully with seafood.
For the taste with per-dinner drinks I had a delightful single fresh sardine from WA stuffed and rolled in prosciutto – a delightful morsel that promised of the quality of the meal to follow.
Service was not just attentive but very knowledgeable and the place was packed with a rather eclectic crowd – oh yes after all it was Friday night in the city of Melbourne.
Meanwhile Esposito has some plans to bring more life into this particular Melbourne lane way – which will be welcome news – in what is very much a lane way based restaurant culture.