It’s getting to that stage in my life where my closest friends are getting engaged, having babies, buying properties, and making big, huge, long-term life commitments. I have been warned that over the next five years, I’ll be attending a wedding every two weeks, and buying ten million baby shower gifts. Time to start putting money aside for the baby gifts I won’t be able to stop myself from buying and all the destination weddings!
In any case, one of my closest friends from high school has asked me to be one of her bridesmaids in her 2015 wedding. I’m so excited. I’ll even be excited when I inevitably end up in a hot pink taffeta gown with a big bow on my butt and crimped hair with lavender eyeshadow.
My first duty as bridesmaid was to help her decide on a venue for her engagement party and the first place we road-tested with another friend and bridesmaid, was one of her favourite small Italian restaurants in Thomastown – St Alexander’s Kitchen. It’s a tiny little restaurant in a small strip of shops in a highly residential neighborhood. Unless you lived within a few blocks of the restaurants, you wouldn’t even know it was there.
The menu is small and simple, with some classic pizza options and basic carb-heavy Italian meals. It’s definitely the kind of place where you expect a home-style hearty meal without any frills or pretense, and the reasonable price tag (under $20 for a main) reflects this casual vibe. In the interest of properly road-testing this restaurant as a potential engagement party venue, we each ordered a different style of main and different desserts as well.
My braised lamb risotto came out in a simple little bowl, the old-fashioned type a 20-year-old moving out of home for the first time might inherit from Nanna. This risotto was more liquidy than I would normally cook myself, but the texture actually worked really well with the plentiful chunks of tender lamb throughout the risotto. With some cracked pepper on top, it was super hearty.
The home-made chocolate mousse was beautifully presented on a little saucer with some creative sprinkling of icing sugar and cocoa powder, with a framed dessert fork highlighted against the powder. The thin sheet of chocolate and the edible flower added a touch of class, while the dessert itself was rich and creamy, without being too heavy in the mouth. Absolute heaven!
Overall, I rate St Alexander’s Kitchen an 8 out of 10. You’ll be guaranteed a simple, yet tasty and hearty meal here for a reasonable price, with a small selection of delectable desserts, should you be feeling naughty!
And as for the engagement party? The bride-to-be has (I think) decided not to go with a party at a restaurant to help save money for the wedding itself. (FYI, St Alexander’s Kitchen quoted $1500 to rent out the restaurant for the night, seating and feeding thirty people from a set menu.) Whether or not they’ll opt for a more casual barbecue type engagement party at home, we shall see!