A Melbourne based writer who is a travel junkie, dedicated foodie and emerging photographer.
Published October 15th 2016
Your Irish eyes will be smiling at this friendly pub
We recently visited The Fifth Province Irish Pub, located at 3/60 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda for the second time. On the previous visit, we wanted a quick bite to eat before seeing a show at the Alex Theatre, which is just across the road. We were impressed to get a substantial meal for just $15, as they have a $15 steak night each Thursday. In fact they have special food nights Monday to Friday, which offer great value for money. Click here to see what's on offer.
The front bar
Our return visit last week was to check out their new 'gastro pub' style menu. There is no shortage of Irish favourites on the menu, such as bacon and cabbage (traditional Irish boiled bacon served with champ-mash potato, buttered savoy cabbage and a rich parsley cream) ($26), and beef and guinness stew ($22.90).
However, we chose less traditional options, starting with the soba noodle salad (smoked eggplant, avocado, Thai basil and nam-jim dressing, finished with roasted sesame seeds and crisp eggplant skin) ($14) and the house cured salmon gravlax with lime crème fraiche, cucumber and dill vinaigrette and Parmesan crisp ($16).
Salmon gravlax - dish of the night
The salmon gravlax was possibly the dish of the night. It was beautifully presented and invited the diner to dive right in. And the dish lived up to expectations - it was light and delicate and the flavours were lovely. The Parmesan crisps, while tasty, seemed unnecessary with this dish.
We also enjoyed the soba noodle salad, which was a great combination of ingredients, giving it a pleasing depth of flavours.
For the main courses, we chose baked salmon fillet sat on a pea and leek risotto, finished with parsley oil and Parmesan shavings ($24), and the Scotch fillet steak, with hand cut fat chips, crisp shoestring onions, semi dried tomato and watercress salad ($35.90).
For my taste, the salmon fillet was perhaps a little more cooked than I'd have liked. Nevertheless, it was tender and moist. However, I did feel that the generous amount of Parmesan cheese on the risotto competed with the flavour of the salmon. Overall, I'd have preferred a lighter risotto, with more emphasis on the seasonal vegetables.
Salmon with risotto - the Parmesan cheese was a bit dominant
The steak was cooked as ordered and was a high quality, lean piece of meat. The accompaniments looked great on the plate - especially the pile of fat chips! - and complemented the steak very well.
The steak was perfectly cooked and we loved the pile of fat chips
There were two desserts on the menu, so we ordered one of each: lemon and lime posset, served with home made shortbread biscuits and raspberry salad; and crumble of the time, topped with a biscuit and honey oat crumble, served with home made custard and lemon cream (each $9.50).
Lemon and Lime Posset - the pick of the desserts
We both enjoyed the lemon and lime posset, which was definitely the pick of the two desserts. The crumble was a comfort food dish, warm and hearty. The crumble, I felt, was slightly dry and would have benefited from a little more butter having been rubbed into the mix.
The crumble - comfort food
By the time we'd got through dinner, the live music was well and truly in full swing, with regulars Dan and Cyril belting out some traditional Irish tunes. There is live music from Wednesday to Sunday, so if you're wanting an intimate meal, you may want to check out what time the music starts. Click here to view the gig guide. The Fifth Province is a large venue, with a series of rooms, so you may be able to find a quieter, tucked away spot if that's what you're after.
There is live music from Wed - Sun. Pictured here, Dan and Cyril.
And if all of this is not enough to convince you to visit The Fifth Province, then I should mention there is a happy hour that runs for three hours - from 4.00 - 7.00pm Monday to Friday, during which there are pints of beer for $7 or glasses of house wine for $6.
There is also public transport virtually to the door, with the number 96 tram stopping right outside.
The Fifth Province is open from 11am - 1am Monday to Friday, and from 10am - 1am Saturday and Sunday.
Click here to reserve a table, or give them a call on (03) 9534 4005.
The images in this article were taken by the writer. They are not to be reproduced in any form without the express permission of WeekendNotes.