Thursday, March 25, 2010


10-12 Jacka Bvd
St Kilda VIC 3182
Ph: (03) 9593 8233

It was Esther's birthday and she had organised a dinner at Beachcomber at the St Kilda Sea Baths. It didn't start well when they informed us that we could only order from an extremely limited menu due to the large number of people. Despite our claims that we didn't care if meals came out at different times, they still refused to let us order off the normal menu. Worse still, a special they had that consisted of two courses for a special was again denied to us due to the group size. I really don't understand this. Can someone in the industry please explain this second part to me. If we had gone as two groups, we could have got the special, but we can't because we went as one group. What is the difference?

What the restaurant has going for it is the wonderful location. The views are spectacular, and as the day grew into night with the sun setting, it is a stunning restaurant to dine in. However, due to numerous service and customer issues, I don't think any of us will be going back. More on that later.

Ross gave us an impression of Matt Preston while we waited for everyone to arrive. Jessie was running so late that we had to start without her. She eventually arrived when everyone finished eating, prompting her to vow to buy a GPS.

The food itself was the usual ecletic mix from these new age cafes that try to be all things to all people. Therefore you get things such as Soft Shell Crab, Sanganaki and Oysters Kilpatrick for entrees. I had the Oysters Kilpatrick and they tasted good. The entrees for everyone was probably the highlight.

The mains were again all over the shop, with Lobster Mornay, Fish and Chips, Duck Risotto and Seafood Marinara. I had the lobster and it was overpowered by the mornay. The mornay was extremely heavy and really flour-y.

Desserts were definitely forgettable. In fact, they were regrettable. The Tiramisu was awful, with heavy stodgy cream covering a generic sponge cake. My Chocolate Fondant was so dry, with no oozing chocolate in the centre at all.

Look how cute the little kids were. I love these two photos. On the left, Hien with Chi and Phi. And on the right, the triplets of Mark, Nathan and Lachlan, with a cameo from Rick with the bunny ears.

As I mentioned earlier, the strength of this place is it's fantastic view. It is indeed relaxing to stare out at the beach. However, it falls flat on all other factors that matter for a restaurant. The food ranged from ok to passable to terrible. The prices are way too high for the quality of food.

Despite their information that we could not order the full menu, they must have somehow forgot and we took advantage and ordered off the full menu. Their timing of the dishes was ridiculous. Entrees were served for some while others received their mains. Then some other entrees didn't come out till much later, when everyone had received their mains.

The service was also shocking. Despite the number of staff hanging around the bar talking, it was impossible to get any service. We had to request water at least half a dozen time throughout the night. They mixed up our orders as well.

The ambience in the actual restaurant is actually quite good, with the lighting giving a nice glow to the place and the floor to ceiling glass windows a treat.

I would not be going back despite the great views. I think for the money they charge, better food and service can be had in Melbourne.

Overall Rating: 11/20, Great views but disappointing food and service.

Scores: 1-9: Unacceptable, don't bother. 10-11: Just OK,some shortcomings. 12: Fair. 13: Getting there. 14: Recommended. 15: Good. 16: Really good. 17: Truly excellent. 18: An outstanding experience. 19-20:Approaching perfection, Victoria's best.

Beachcomber at St Kilda Sea Baths on Urbanspoon


  1. I've been here before - and it's true that because of the view they get to capitalize on the tourist trade. I always get huge headaches when I'm planning for a group dining as well - everyone tries to get you to go for an expensive degustation, or set meal! How hilarious that they forgot, and how horrifying - dry chocolate fondant? No no no no no no!

  2. Hey Vee, they definitely have the tourist trade cornered. Group planning is hard at the best of times, but Beachcomber made it really really hard by not offering numerous things despite our arguments otherwise. The dry chocolate fondant was the worse. I think they just buy it pre-made and microwave it or something.