Lazy Sunday Afternoon – Tapas at Pelican

Pelican Restaurant
16 Fitzroy Street
St Kilda  VIC  3182
03 9525 5847
Open daily:  7:30am – 11pm

The lovely iMac was very keen to get me along to one of her all time favourite Melbourne haunts – Pelican on Fitzroy Street.  Apparently she’s been coming here for many, many years – one of her “old faithfuls” – it has a glorious feel in the very hip, very happening suburb of St Kilda.

We were very fortunate, in that, within 5 minutes of our arrival – a table opened up on the verandah – which as you can see is a fabulous inside / outside area with lots of natural light and filtered sea breezes.  In this setting, you are protected from too much sun, yet outside, all at the same time.  It’s a fantastic place to park yourself for the afternoon while enjoying tapas… our cunning plan exactly.

Cocktails to start

What’s a lazy Sunday afternoon without a couple of cocktails to start – this will send us on our way in style….  alas, the lovely iMac was designated driver, so me and gorgeous Ms R got nicely mellow while iMac stayed on her OJ!

Let the games begin…

Moroccan lamb meatballs with yoghurt

These meatballs were divine – delicately seasoned and spiced, they reposed in a gorgeous tomato sauce, drizzled with cool yoghurt, and sprinkled with sumac.  One of the great dishes of the day.

Jamon & chicken croquettes

One of the daily specials – these jamon and chicken croquettes were especially creamy when you bit into them, being filled with a bechamel sauce and served with a saffron & tomato aioli.  The girls liked these, but I thought they were a bit hum-ho.  I just felt that there wasn’t enough chicken or jamon in them – they might have been better called bechamel croquettes.  Just my humble opinion.

Chicken liver pâté with onion confit

This was definitely a dish of the day – and one of the lovely iMac’s essential dishes. See all that gorgeous butter surrounding the parfait – just beautiful (although probably not good if you’re suffering from cholesterol.. but did you know your body makes its own cholesterol anyway…. but I digress…).  The parfait was beautiful and creamy, deliciously rich, and gorgeously complemented by the onion confit and super soft turkish bread…  move over girls, I’m going in….

Roasted Mushrooms with goat’s cheese, pinenuts & pomegranate butter

Hmmm… almost a healthy dish – lovely mushrooms, beautifully rich with the goodness of goat’s cheese and butter.  Absolutely divine…  There’s one missing, because iMac got a bit excited and scoffed one before photos were taken!!  I guess that tells you how beautiful they were…

Pan roasted Moreton Bay Bugs with chilli, garlic & parsley

I’m telling you – life doesn’t get much better than a plate of freshly grilled Moretan Bay bugs… the meat was sweet and firm, perfectly grilled, and beautifully seasoned with the chilli and garlic.  Life is good!

 Patatas Bravas: Spanish style “fiery potatoes” with aioli

These potatoes were on iMac’s essentials list – we had to have them.  And I can see why – they were amazing.  Soft and fluffy on the inside, but gorgeously crisp and spicy on the outside – they were moreish and fantastic – even though you might think potatoes are boring – think again.  These babies were definitely must haves!!

Twice cooked Pork Belly skewers with a crackling salad

Pork belly…. we all know I’m a sucker for pork belly!   These gorgeous cubes of goodness were pretty good – the jus was especially yummy.  The pork was well cooked, with a great layer of fat (I know, I know) – and the ensemble was lightly freshened up by some micro herbs and fresh capsicum. Lovely.

Lamb cutlet with garlic, oregano, lemon & sea salt

I do love my lamb – so when I saw these on the menu I just had to have them.  And they were good – generous thick and meaty cutlets, they were beautifully tender and juicy. Served with a squeeze of lemon – we were in heaven.  I would consider these a bit of a must have on the menu…

Pulled, spiced Lamb with fennel seed flatbread

Another one of the essentials from iMac’s list – this was amazing.  Shredded, slow cooked lamb – served with flat bread flavoured wtih fennel seeds.  A word from the wise iMac – the dish does not come with tzatziki – but is soooo good with it, it actually seems an oversight.  So, when you order this – make sure you ask for tzatziki on the side. It might also be worthwhile to ask for a double serve of the flatbread as well – as we quickly ran out of it and there’s enough lamb to make it worthwhile. The lamb is meltingly tender, and has obviously been marinated in a spice rub, before being slow cooked, and then pulled apart – it does tend to stick in the teeth though – but the flavour and juiciness of the meat is worth it.  I agree with iMac – a definite essential for your journey…

Most replete and satisfied – we couldn’t even entertain the thought of dessert (although I do confess I eyed off a gorgeous looking chocolate marquise on the next table).  Given it’s a tapas place though – you can pace yourself accordingly. So, if you feel like you want to leave room for dessert – just hold off on the tapas.  With three of us – 9 dishes was perfect.  We ordered all nine up front, which meant we got served pretty quickly – and were done and dusted within a couple of hours. If you really wanted to make a languorous afternoon of it – make sure you ask for them to stagger the dishes, or just order a few at a time.

Overall, it was an incredibly pleasant and indulgent way to spend a gorgeously sunny Melbourne afternoon. It’s those moments when you realise just how lucky we are in this great city of ours. Hmmm…. I’ve got a hankering for those patatas bravas now….

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