Food and Drink
Posted by Lachlan Baynes
28. Feb, 2017
A stone’s throw from the beach in St Kilda West, Frankie’s Top Shop is the new endeavour — and first solo operation — from award-winning food writer and chef Michele Curtis, author of The Foodies Diary. Part-café, part-gourmet food store and part-corner milk bar, Frankie’s takes its inspiration from the beach as well as the spirit of the local corner store that previously occupied the site, and for the local residents, was part of the fabric of St Kilda West. Milk Bar Mag were lucky enough to attend the opening night of what is sure to be an unmissable addition to the St Kilda coastline, bringing new flavours and new life to the area.
Intimate but feeling cosy rather than cramped, Frankie’s immediately stands out with its simple but bold design aesthetic. The many shades of the green across the benches, tables, tiles and matching umbrellas gives the space a lively yet calming atmosphere that sits naturally at home with the leafy surroundings of Cowderoy Street. Inside, the space is divided with an open area to sit and wait for your coffee and a smaller alcove tucked away for a more private dining experience. Alternatively you can spill out onto the street and enjoy the sunshine.
As for the food — as you would no doubt expect from a chef of Michele’s caliber — it was exquisite. Again taking inspiration from the history of the site and the location, Frankie’s offers a strong and varied selection of traditional café favourites, made in-house and cooked simply then plated with a twist. On the night we were treated to, amongst others, battered flathead tails with sweet potato chips, sweetcorn fritters with guacamole and, a particular standout, cauliflower pakoras with coconut tzatziki. The flavours of each dish were vivid and rich, pairing recognisable elements with more gourmet fare that left every eye flickering towards the kitchen, hungrily watching for the next dish to reveal itself.
There is also a large selection of healthy take-home meals and drinks to choose from including home made pies, salads, rolls and smoothies made with all natural ingredients. Timber shelves are also stocked with high quality groceries including Michele’s own selection of breads, chocolate, sauces and designer crockery for you to take home and raise the standard of your own cooking.
So pick a day when the sun is out and take a walk down to the beach. Frankie’s will be waiting.
Frankie’s Top Shop
20 Cowderoy Street, St Kilda West
Open Monday to Saturday, 7am to 5pm, Sunday, 8am to 4pm
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