The Table Restaurant @ St Kilda

One of the things I love about staffing conferences is having a orgasmic dinner at the end of the day. It’s the light at the end of a 12-13 hour work day tunnel, which keeps me going to see the finish line.

And as much as I enjoy visiting Melbourne, it is by no means my home turf. Nonetheless, I was asked for a recommendation and thought our small staff crew should try The Table Restaurant down in St Kilda, a modern Mexican establishment which seems more homely than posh, but delivers some amazing flavour.

Everyone unanimously agreed to try the seven course degustation menu (AUD$95 per person), which has recommendations for accompanying wines and tequilas. Since I was recovering from a sore throat, I steered clear of the tequilas. My colleagues who tried one of their tequilas (for sipping, not shooting) really enjoyed it.

House made corn tortilla chips with trio of salsas

To start us off, we had the house made corn tortilla chips with trio of salsas. These arrive piping hot, so handle with care. I adored how fresh their salsa was and the salsa verde is yumm-eh!

Smoked duck and avocado tostada with pumpkin seed and sesame tortilla

When the smoked duck and avocado tostada with pumpkin seed and sesame tortilla arrived, I will admit I was slightly disappointed by how tiny and lonely that single piece of tortilla looked on the plate. It looked no larger than the tortilla chips that arrived earlier, but it delivered on taste and flavour.

Classic fish taco - crispy battered snapper with avocado puree, pico de gallo and coriander

However the classic fish taco has to be my favorite. Tacos for me have always been with beans or beef, so to have fish was much more interesting. The snapper has a gorgeously crispy batter that’s light and is freshened up with the avocado puree and coriander flavour.

Wagyu beef tamale with eggplant and banana leaf, cream fraiche, cumin and smokey chipotle dip

I have never had a tamale, so was not sure what to expect. The wagyu beef tamale with eggplant and banana leaf is firm and arrives already cut, exposing the wagyu beef centre. I’m not sure if I enjoyed the texture of the tamale, but the beef is moist.

The smokey chipotle dip is more spicy than I expected, but it is really good for that burst of flavour.

Seared scallops with tamarind and agave chutney, roe panna cotta and Jerusalem artichoke

The seared scallops with tamarind and agave chutney are deliciously sweet. I’m not sure if the tamarin and agave chutney is supposed to look more like a bean puree, but the Jerusalem artichoke was an unexpected treat! It was deep fried until thoroughly crispy and doesn’t even resemble an artichoke at all.

Pork Belly Enchilada with brussel sprouts, agave and chilli remoulade

I like pork belly as much as the next person and am a little picky about the meat-to-fat ratio of a serving. The pork belly enchilada has a great balance, but be ready for stuff to come spilling out after the first bite. It’s a messy affair, but well worth the smear of sauce on the lip to lick off.

And big thumbs up for the brussel sprouts, agave and chilli remoulade. If you are sensitive to spice, avoid. The chilli delivers quite a kick and you might end up downing a few too many sips of tequila to cool yourself off.

Chicken breast stuffed with queso fresco and oregano, corn puree, roasted baby truss tomato and yellow squash

To be honest, we were all really quite full by the time the chicken breast stuffed with queso fresco and oregano turned up, but we were taking one for the team! The chicken is really succulent and wipes up the corn puree off the plate like a mop.

Mexican spices chocolate tarte, orange and tequila flan, chocolate truffle fritters with vanilla ice-cream

Then there was dessert. Each element is delightful in its own way, but my personal favorite were the chocolate truffle fritter and the orange and tequila flan.

The chocolate truffle fritter is bitter and cuts through the sweeter elements on the plate. I am also a bitter chocolate lover (I avidly avoid milk and white chocolate), so the fritter was totally up my alley.

And while the orange and tequila flan was sweeter, the refreshing orange flavour was a perk-me-up. The texture was pillow soft and smooth – a perfect finishing touch to a full-on meal.

If you do pop around to The Table Restaurant‘s restroom around the back, you will walk past its tiny kitchen and a row of apartment windows, which might look into someone’s living or bedroom. Funnily enough, the sheer lack of kitchen space boggles the mind to think such amazing food can be created in it and the windows just add to The Table Restaurant‘s charm.

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