We would like to thank Pablo Honey for inviting Helen and I to dine at their newly opened restaurant/bar. Please note that this meal was sponsored by Pablo Honey, however we pride ourselves on writing honest reviews for you guys and in this instance it’s no exception.
There’s a reason why we don’t dine at St Kilda much and that’s simply because the parking can be absolutely horrid! It was no different this time, as St Kilda had some event on which not only meant that parking was bad but traffic was also bumper to bumper. After a bit of driving around and frustration in the car, we decided to go to my trusty paid parking spot at the Coles car park. It was a short walk to Pablo Honey and wasn’t too bad.
We were greeted warmly by Emily at the door. First thing I noticed was the huge and brightly lit bar on the left. The honeycomb wall which doubles as alcohol bottle storage space was a very nice touch and stays true to the name of the restaurant. Emily had reserved a nice big table for both of us. As I’ve mentioned before in my reviews, big tables are just awesome, because we eat so much and it’s nice to have some table space to move the dishes around for photos.
A friendly waitress attended to us straight away and handed us the drinks menu. She would turn out to be the sole person serving us for the night, which I was very happy with. She was quick, on the ball, and knew the menu inside out. From the ingredients to the cooking techniques, she could answer all the questions we threw at her. She was a gun at her job, and Pablo Honey are very fortunate to have her working for them.
We opted to go for 3 small share plates and 1 large share plate in order to try some more foods. Looking back at what we ordered and the prices, I would say that the small share plates are pretty good value as they are a decent quantity for the price. Add to the fact that you also get to try more dishes it’s a no brainer. I personally found the large share plates a bit expensive, as the 3 dishes ranged from $45 to $55.
We ordered the smoked chicken wingettes, ceviche of octopus, green tree ant cured salmon, and the smoked fillet of snapper as the large share plate. The smoked chicken came with a salsa which had nice spiced flavours. Chicken was also extremely tender. There were however only mild hints of smokiness, I was expecting a lot more smokey flavours as per the name of the dish. As I bit into the chicken, I noticed that the meat was not smoked and as I suspected it the smokiness was from the sauce.
The ceviche of octopus I didn’t particularly enjoy. I expected the octopus to be more raw, but instead I was served an orange coloured thoroughly cooked octopus. The octopus itself was also very chewy, and was quite hard to swallow. Green tea cured salmon was my favourite dish of the night.
The salmon was fresh, soft and fatty! Great dish as it wasn’t heavily flavoured and allowed the salmon taste to shine. The salt and vinegar taro chips which came with the salmon was weirdly satisfying and went surprisingly well together. The taro chips to salmon ratio was a bit of whack though and we had way too many taro chips left over. Considering they were too flavoured to have by themselves, we couldn’t finish the chips. The smoked fillet of snapper tasted really good. I could tell that the fish was smoked this time as it penetrated the snapper meat. This also caused it’s downfall too as it made the delicate snapper meat a bit tough. The seaweed salad that came with it was probably our least favourite of the night. It may as well have been called a grapefruit salad as there was so much grapefruit in it. The dressing was also not very pleasant.
The dessert was very unique. We ordered the Dulce de Leche Mousse which was recommended by the waitress. It came out in the mould of a skull which represented the the wall of many beautiful skull sculptures behind our table which are designed and created by the owner Matt’s wife. There are so many pretty ones that are available for sale there. Anyway back to the skull dessert. With a spoon, we cracked into the skull sculpture which got us into the mousse. It was a very interesting way of presenting it. The initial entry of the mousse was pleasant and eyebrow raising but it got too sweet very quickly. There was also the element of popping candy which gave it some texture.
In summary we did enjoy our time at Pablo Honey. The interior decorations along with the superb customer service was the highlight of our experience. I admire the creativity of the food as it sets a point of difference with other restaurants, however the food was a bit hit and miss. Some fine tuning of the food and the potential would be infinite. The great thing was that Matt (one of the owners) welcomed our suggestions, and with such an open mind, it’s surely a recipe for success. I love supporting small restaurant businesses and would be happy to help in whatever way I can. If you’re around the area, give Pablo Honey a visit and show them some support, as I see a bright future for this new restaurant.
Approx $50 AUD per person
Address: 68 Acland St, St Kilda VIC 3182
PHone: +61 3 9534 3246