LOTI will open its doors in the seaside suburb of St Kilda on Wednesday 22 June celebratingthe best of Australia’s own coastal surroundings infused with Mediterranean influence and an atmosphere of relaxed luxury and local community that is distinctly Melbourne.
The seaside neighbourhood local at the base of St Kilda’s new Saint Moritz precinct, is the perfect place for a quiet cocktail overlooking the waves or destination dining for locals and visitors, friends and family. In a nod to the sentimentality of the past, LOTI’s name, Lady of the Ice pays homage to the heritage and community of the Saint Moritz area.
Glance at the kitchen to find Head Chef Elijah Holland (Lume, NOMA Australia, Aria, Quay) behind the flame bringing his own artful interpretation of food cooked over fire, striving to make everything from scratch and using ancient techniques of fermentation, preserving, curing and serving food in the freshest and purest form. LOTI’s menu shares space with an equally crafted drinks list curated in collaboration with World Class Bartenders from Sweet&Chilli, overseen by co-owner Cameron Northway.
Diners can find snacks and small plates for those in a hurry such as butter poached and grilled scampi skewer and smoked yellowfin tuna mousse cornetto with Albacore tuna mojama. For those looking to settle down for the night; dishes like artichoke tarte tatin, an ‘Ice Rink’ ceviche of market fish; and larger mains, whole lobster butter poached and wrapped in kelp, barbequed with lemon scented tea tree and kelp ditalini pasta; BBQ rack of Turbot ribs with sea parsley, grilled lettuce and capers. To continue the meal, Holland invites diners to indulge in a Baked L’artisan raclette and pumpkin vol au vent ahead of moving into dessert with dishes such as local Victorian sourced saffron ice cream with rhubarb and riberries and a burnt marshmallow sorbet with macadamia honey and coastal tea tree.
“My menu is inspired by nature, the coast and history of St Kilda. We are visiting local producers weekly, foraging centuries-old wild, native and naturalised botanical and using new-age cooking techniques to form seasonal and approachable dishes that are packed full of flavour and hero our Victorian produce.” says Holland.
The bar finds its home as the central focal point, split across the two sides of the restaurant, acting as an invitation to passersby to pop in for a casual drink, or get comfortable over dinner. Locally roasted coffee from one of Melbourne’s coffee pioneers, ST. ALi, house made pressed juices, locally sourced beers, wine and spirits and an embrace of local artisans and flavours can be seen throughout the cocktail list.
The cocktail menu will see familiar classics given new life with native herbs, locally made spirits and unique garnishes such as Season Spritz – Seasonal cordial and garnish, local gin, regal rogue lively white, suze, bubbles; Cooler – River mint infused white rum, cacao, carbonated; and Dirty Martini – Uni butter vodka, vermouth, LOTI seasoning, seaweed snack. There will also be a focus on a lower ABV spritz, to suit the aperitif occasion, with the craftsmanship to the non-alcoholic menu, given just as much attention, ensuring there is always a way to celebrate at LOTI.
Approachable wine varietals will dominate the wine list with a focus on biodynamic and organic Australian producers, especially those using grape varietals known and loved from the European coastline. An extensive international reserve list will be available for those guests looking for something special, ensuring the menu remains approachable yet luxurious for those looking for an added flair.
“We want dining out to be an experience that makes our guests conjure up memories of favourite trips away. The LOTI experience is meant to be a feast that everyone at the table joins. Think the theatre of watching a chef grill the finest produce to order, sauces and dishes made up table side, a house made charcuterie board from seafood to meat inspired by the Victorian coast and local ingredients and the intrigue that grows from a unique spin on the classic martini.” says Cameron Northway.
Designed by renowned Melbourne based Interior Architecture & Design studio, Mitchell & Eades, LOTI takes inspiration from the seaside topography of its location, LOTI’s architecture is beautifully curvacious and showcases organic curves and shapes seen through their sensuously curved banquette seating, elegant high ceilings and soft feature lighting. The colour palette is a mix of calming soft tones with a base of creamy sand, warm pink and blushing peach, grounded in the depth of natural greens through a mix of earthy, artisan materials that exude a rawness, warmth and sense of glamour.
More than just a restaurant, LOTI sits as the vibrant community hub for the St Kilda community as part of the Saint Moritz precinct, representing a partnership with developer and entrepreneur, Tim Gurner’s Gurner Group. Having set new records across luxury, design and customisation since its inception LOTI strives to bring the very best in dining experiences to St Kilda’s once-in-a-lifetime regeneration.
The perfect destination to drop in for a casual drink on the sun-drenched terrace or plan a cosy dinner inside with friends, LOTI’s beautifully designed surroundings embraces locals and visitors to come together and embrace the hospitality of the St Kilda neighbourhood from day to night.
Opens Wednesday 22 June
Wednesday – Sunday: 12:00pm – Late
14 – 16 The Esplanade, St Kilda
Image credits: Parker Blain