It is actually an interesting story as to how my Mum, sister and I ended up dining at St Katherine's. I had been looking for a wedding cake and there was a place that had cakes which I had fallen in love with. I tried to get a Sunday appointment with her but she does not work Sundays. I wanted to go on a Sunday because my Mum works at a reception centre on Saturdays and it would be hard for her to get time off on this day. My mum was determined to get a Sunday appointment and said she would be able to get it. I told her that I would shout her lunch if she managed to get a Sunday appointment. Nevertheless, my Mum used the reception centre connections and I was able to get a very VIP appointment on a Sunday which is not something that the cake maker would usually do. To thank my Mum I ended up taking her and my sister out to lunch after the cake appointment at St Katherine's which was on the way home. (On a side note - I ended up booking the cake through this lady - the most amazing cakes I have tried).
Tomato paste can containing cutlery & napkins
Anyway, back to what this post is actually about - St Katherine's. Having dined at Maha a couple of times, I had high expectations for another Shane Delia restaurant. Prior to eating at St Katherine's I had a peek at Urbanspoon and found that it only had a 61% rating at the time of this post, which was quite surprising. I still wanted to try St Katherine's and I am happy to report, there was nothing we could fault with the food and to be honest I could not understand such a low rating. Goes to show that sometimes the Urbanspoon ratings might have a positive or negative bias and it is still good to get out there and try something before you judge it by what others have said. It should also be noted that we had lunch there, so I will be quoting the lunch prices.
Mocktails - Ruby Rose (raspberries, rose syrup & cranberry juice), Vanilla & Passionfruit Crush (apple juice, passionfruit & vanilla syrup) & More Than a Shirley Temple (promegranate juice, raspberry syrup, lime juice & ginger beer) - $7 each
Given that it was such a warm day, we decided to start off lunch with some lovely mocktails. We all ended up choosing a different one and shared the drinks around. I thought that all three drinks tasted really nice but after reading the description of the More Than a Shirley Temple drink, I do not think I would have ordered it if it had of included ginger beer. Therefore, I think this might be a recent update on the menu as the one I had was just the juices, but I am not 100% sure now.
KFC 'St. Katherine's Fried Chicken' 1/2 Bucket with BBQ sauce &Japanese Mayo - $13.50
This bucket contained six pieces of fried chicken, however my Mum & sister grabbed some before I even got a chance to take a photo, so the bucket is actually a bit fuller than it looks in this photo. The chicken were thigh pieces coated in an interesting crumb. The pieces were a bit of the smaller side but as there was no bone there were still a couple of bites in each piece. What I loved is that the waiter brought the Japanese mayo & BBQ sauce to the table so that you could have as much or as little as you liked. I found that the two sauces mixed together was quite good. The BBQ sauce had a nice tang to it. I thought the chicken was well cooked and was really juicy without having that greasy feeling that you would get from your regular KFC, but I would have liked it if there was a bit more spice in the flavouring.
My Mum loved the KFC
Turkish Lamb Dumplings with Garlic Yogurt, Sumac & Dried Mint - $18
I was really interested to see Shane Delia's interpretation on dumplings and they did not disappoint. The dumplings are actually quite small (the size of a piece of gnocchi) but there were at least 20 on this plate. There was not a lot of lamb in the dumplings but the skin was not very thick either. It was something you just literally popped in your mouth. What I found really interesting was the seasoning on top. There was lots of sumac and mint and oil in the yogurt, so you were able to give each dumpling a good swish around in all the seasoning before eating. We all agreed at the table that these dumplings were really nice and quite different from the usual dumplings that we have had. It might not necessarily be a traditional dish but the mediterranean twists on it worked really well.
Beirut Lamb Pizza with Mayo, Chilli & Lemon - $15
I have had similar pizzas to these a number of times as I have a Lebanese friend whose parents buy these quite regularly from Sydney Road. I just love how much lamb is on the pizza, it is a decent layer. The lamb is cooked with a number of spices and spread on the thin pizza base. I loved the chilli on the pizza and I would have liked to sprinkle a bit more on it. We also squeezed the lemon all over the pizza and this gave an interesting contrasting taste of the spiciness of the chilli and the sourness of the lemon. Once again, enjoyed by everyone on the table.
Sticky Pork Ribs with Black Chilli Vinegar - $26
One of my favourite foods are pork ribs. When my sister & I saw this on the menu we knew we had to have it. The chilli vinegar sauce on the ribs was very generous and it allowed you to drip the meat into it. The meat was really easy to get off the bone and it was so juicy. I think these are some of the best ribs I have eaten. The stickiness of the pork was fantastic and since I had these ribs I have been wanting to go back and have them again. I loved that they were a bit spicy unlike most of the ribs that I have tried in the past.
Rice of the Week - Pilaf with Dried Apricots - $10
We felt that given the number of meat dishes we were having, we would need to have a side as well. The rice dish changes weekly on the menu and this was the current special. The rice was well cooked and did not have any strong flavours so it was a perfect side for all the meaty dishes we were having. My Mum & sister also mixed the black vinegar sauce from the stick pork ribs with this rice to give it an extra dimension.
Nutella Filled Doughnuts with Raspberry Jam, Vanilla & White Chocolate Mousse - $14.90 (for 2 doughnuts - an additional doughnut was $2).
Lately I have been trying to avoid desserts but my sister was very keen to try this one so we decided to share. I absolutely loved the Nutella filled doughnuts. They were so soft and the nutella inside was so gooey. It was very interesting to eat without dropping nutella on yourself. I also loved the raspberry jam. It was quite sweet but it really had a homemade feel to it as it had such a strong flavour of raspberries. The only thing that did disappoint me was the mousse. It tasted quite strongly of cream, perhaps it has not been cooked correctly? It didn't taste uncooked or anything like that, but it was not the type of mousse I am use to. I would be curious to try this again and see if it was a once off thing or whether the mousse should taste so much of cream.
I think that St Katherine's is on par with Shane Delia's other restaurant, Maha. Although Maha's style of food is slightly different, I enjoyed both restaurants equally. I love how Delia does a twist on something ordinary to make it such an interesting dish. I also think that everything was well cooked and the only thing I didn't enjoy too much, being the mousse, was most likely not enjoyed by me simply due to my own tastes as I am not a big dairy person.
There are a number of set menu options at St Katherine's but we ended up choosing a number of A La Carte dishes that interested us and we only spent about $40 each. I think choosing a number of dishes yourself is a better option and ensures you get to try all the dishes that you are interested in. I am looking forward to returning to St Katherine's soon as there are a number of other dishes I want to try. Although it is not located in an area near me, I think I will have to make an excuse to get myself to the other side of the city!
26 Cotham Road,
Ph: (03) 9207 7477