Pasta By the Bay

The sun has been shining on Melbourne’s iconic Stokehouse for more than 30 years. And now Melbourne’s favourite beachside playground is delivering St Kilda even more vitamin D in the form of newly launched Stokehouse Pasta & Bar, where Mediterranean vibes rule just metres from the sand.

Formerly known as Pontoon, the more casual venue anchoring the upstairs fine dining sibling is no second thought. Led by owner Frank Van Handel’s son Hugh, the focus is on a laidback atmosphere but high-quality food and service, with a pasta-led menu that’s European in feel and Australian in style.

Crafted by Stokehouse executive chef Jason Staudt and Stokehouse Pasta & Bar’s head chef Brendan Anderson, it cleverly features pastas ranging in size from entrée to family, making them work for every table configuration. And what fabulous pastas they are: think spaghetti with crab and chilli, tortellini with spinach, ricotta and pine nuts or cacio e pepe gnocchi. You can also indulge in mains of Murray cod or Cape Grim sirloin and chase it all with ice cream sundaes and thirst-quenching cocktails (the Stokehouse Spritz featuring Amaro, white peach, jasmine soda and orange gets our vote). Plus there’s a wine list that keeps a firm eye on both quality and budget (every wine on the list is $79), all consumed with superb bay and beach views. Happy days.

KDPO was onboard to publicise the opening last November and were thrilled with the reaction to the new approach, receiving very positive coverage from Good Food, Escape Magazine, Broadsheet, Urban List, Concrete Playground, Sitchu, Time Out, Melbourne Food & Wine, Tourism Australia and many more.