Fitzrovia

The smoked ocean trout from Fitzrovia in St Kilda.
The smoked ocean trout from Fitzrovia in St Kilda. Photo: Eddie Jim

155 Fitzroy St St Kilda, VIC 3182

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Opening hours Mon - Tue 7 AM to 3 PM, Wed - Fri 7 AM to 9:00 PM, Sat 8 AM to 9:00 PM, Sun 8 AM to 4 PM
Features Vegetarian friendly, Gluten-free options, Licensed, Breakfast-brunch, Wheelchair access, Bar, Accepts bookings, Outdoor seating, Family friendly, Romance-first date, Events
Prices Moderate (mains $20-$40)
Payments eftpos, AMEX, Cash, Visa, Mastercard
Phone (03) 9537 0001

WHERE AND WHAT

At the well-mannered end of Fitzroy Street, St Kilda, opposite Albert Park, Fitzrovia has risen from the ashes of the Waldorf Diner. Gregarious new owners Marco Pugnaloni and Paul Jewson (who is also head chef) moved in a little less than a year ago, tszujed the place up and renamed it Fitzrovia, after the central London neighbourhood they lived in during the '90s. Jewson, who has worked at London's River Cafe, has created an all-day menu that, like Fitzrovia's revamped interior, is fashionably rustic.

WHERE TO SIT

The light-filled front atrium, with its communal table and cushioned stools, is the prize spot for coffee or brunch. Stately, concrete stairs, lined with fruit- and vegetable-filled crates, leads to the main dining area, with wooden tables and bentwood chairs. The decor is country chic: pressed metal ceilings, Baltic pine floors, dark wooden sideboards and bookshelves, gold-framed mirrors on fresh white walls and an open kitchen. It's a bit Armadale comes to St Kilda, not that there's anything wrong with that.

WHEN TO GO

Tuesday to Friday 7.30am-10pm, Saturday and Sunday 8am-10pm. Breakfast is served until 3pm.

DRINK

Whether it's hair of the dog or purification you're seeking, Fitzrovia has it covered. Venerable options include freshly squeezed juices such as the ''carotine detox'' (carrot, orange, apple and ginger - we suspect they mean ''carotene''), organic soft drinks, and coffee from the famed St Ali's. There are also cocktails, craft beers, cider and boutique wines mainly from Australia and New Zealand, with a showing from France and Italy, too.

EAT

When Jewson worked for a big-name London events company, his clients ranged from the royal family (pedestrian tastes, love their jam roly poly) to Trudie Styler, wife of Sting (extravagant tastes, loves a themed party). Here, the food is neither pedestrian nor extravagant; it's comfort food with class, such as a breakfast of house-cured Tasmanian ocean trout with toasted quinoa, roasted cherry tomatoes and poached egg. For lunch, perhaps the slow roast lamb shoulder with grilled flatbread, hummus and a pomegranate-and-mint salad, and dinner might be a hearty roasted leatherjacket with borlotti beans braised in cured pork fat. Pastry chef Liz Milroy's fabulous tarts and cakes light up the front window; gluten-free brownies will have both the gluten intolerant - and not - praising the Lord.

WHO'S THERE

The young, local, faux-fur and designer-jeans brigade, as well as your more unassuming folk, dressed for comfort and a weekend stroll in St Kilda.

WHY BOTHER?

Fine, unfussy food served in smart surrounds by a man who once catered for the Queen.

Fitzrovia - 155 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda, 9537 0001