13 Oct The Fifth Province, St Kilda
As an Irish pub, The Fifth Province naturally has a warm and boisterous character, and being conveniently placed right next to a tram stop increases its popularity. As the night grows long and the crowds file in, the atmosphere is further warmed by live music. Quality over quantity is the menu’s focus, with weekly specials from Monday to Friday.
We begin our tasting of the new spring menu with a beautifully Cured Salmon Gravlax with lime creme fraise, cucumber, dill vinaigrette and parmesan crisps. It’s perfectly refreshing, and the savoury crunch of the parmesan crisps means the nibbles don’t last long. In a menu twist that isn’t quite so European, there’s the Soba Noodle Salad with smoked eggplant, diced avocado, Thai basil, nam-jim dressing and strands of crispy eggplant skin. We’re not too sure about the combination of avocado and eggplant here, and the soba could have done with a bit more seasoning, but it’s a decent, light starter.
Our mains consist of perfectly cooked proteins. The lamb backstrap is tender, smooth in texture, and completely free of any gamey taste and smell. A small stack of sweet potato dauphinoise, seared green beans, toasted sliced almonds and red currant reduction make for good accompaniments. The grassfed scotch fillet sourced from Great Southern Farms is seasoned simply, but well. My choice of pepper and maison herbed butter melts over the steak’s charred surface via residual heat, creating an enticing fragrance. A topping of crispy shoetring onions, and handcut chips and a semi-dried tomato jazz things up on the side.
The crumble of the time is made from peach, topped with biscuits and honey oats and coming with homemade custard, lemon cream and vanilla ice cream. The crumbs themselves are not as coarse as what we typically see. The custard is quite rich and thick, sometimes overwhelming the fine texture of the crumb, so adding only as much as needed is recommended. Having said that, the warmth of the custard may make it a good choice for nippy nights. For a more refreshing dessert, there’s the lemon and lime posset with homemade shortbread and raspberry salad. Its tangy citrus notes are a nice contrast to the peach crumble, and we also love the addition of walnuts, both for their taste and texture.
Pubs are often seen as a place for satisfying feeds and great atmosphere. The Fifth Province is no different.
Disclaimer: I was invited to The Fifth Province as a guest, however, opinions expressed here are purely my own, and are based on my experience at the time
The Fifth Province
3/60 Fitzroy St
St Kilda, VIC, 3182
(03) 9534 4005