When you have a good thing, go with it, right? Well, that’s exactly what Sri Lankan born Sam and Dee Wedande, owners of Araliya in Hawthorn, are doing. Fitzroy Street in St Kilda has just won the second sibling from the Araliya family. And it’s a very welcome addition.
Araliya Hawthorn opened in 1985 and served up modern Sri Lankan inspired dishes. Think great local produce and a plethora of flavours like coriander, cumin, fennel, cardamom, cinnamon, and clove. Now they’ve moved this philosophy seaside.
Bar snacks, small bites, and larger dishes are all on offer, with dishes of the same style appearing at both venues.
Start with minced pork sliders, vegetable croquettes or scallops on a coconut roti. Next up sees grilled Queensland prawns in the shell, in a tomato and sun dried chilli sauce with ginger and lemon juice, or perhaps the crusted fish of tamarind, gamboge, and crushed black pepper on a fillet of fresh fish. Larger sharing dishes include the ‘Araliya Chicken’ – roasted free range chicken with pistachio in a spice mixture with yogurt, or the large lamb shoulder braised and roasted with Sri Lankan herbs and spices on the bone served with mint chutney. They even have gluten free flat bread for the intolerant among us.
The sleek interior, fit with a long simple bar and beautiful hanging lights, and leather banquets was designed by architect Emily Gilfillan and built by Horfield Group. It offers us an inviting space, one that you’re happy to spend your own evening in.
A lot of flavour, a lot of love, and a lot of history has moved into Fitzroy Street.
Araliya, St Kilda
157 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda
(03) 9078 6757