30 October 2008

Bedouin Kitchen

103 Grey St, St Kilda
Ph: 9534 0888.
Open: Tue to Thu, 6pm to 10pm; Fri to Sun, 6pm-11pm

Unfortunately I tend to neglect St Kilda in my ongoing food quests, which is silly as there are a smorgasbord of quality, diverse eateries available within a close proximity.

So on a recent Saturday night I decided to give some well-deserved attention back to St K. and head to The Bedouin Kitchen, a Middle Eastern eatery on Grey St.

First impressions at Bedouin are inviting, with deep red painted walls and dark brown beams creating a cosy and intimate feel. However only a lone Egyptian Hooker (smoking pipe) attempts to give an authentic feel to the place – unlike the waiters (I would be very surprised if they had even read a book on the Middle East) and the upbeat, swing style music (think Frank Sinatra “Under my Skin”).

The menu comprises of a selections of Mezze share plates ranging between $6.5 - $14.50 and vegetarian and meat claypots around $15 - $30. A reasonable wine list features most bottles around the $30 - $40 mark. But be warned, if you decide on a bottle of white wine for the night, expect the bottle to sit on your table gently warming rather than being left in the fridge or placed in an ice bucket.

We decided on the traditional bread and dips to start ($14.50) and ate it without much enthusiasm, but still with nothing to really alarm us. Our concerns however started to rumble inside when the next dish, vine leaves ($6.50), had an unsettling flavour of canned dolmades in a plain Jane tomato paste-style sauce! Things didn’t get better as the plate of char-grilled (blackened), flavourless octopus arrived, followed by two dry, venison sausages, lacking any sauce or jus, on a bed of wilted rocket ($9.00).

Ever the optimist, I still held out hope for the Kushery claypot, layers of macaroni, rice & green lentils with a spicy tomato coulis ($18.50). True to their promise, there were layers of macaroni, rice and green lentils; however that was exactly all it was, with a noticeable absence of even a hint of flavour or spice. The “spicy tomato coulis” promised was in fact a chilling re-appearance of the cheap, processed sauce that featured with the vine leaves.

Obviously the importance of flavour and spice isn’t as high up the priority list for other people as it is on mine, as the restaurant was almost full when we visited (granted it was a Saturday night). However, walking out, the $93 hole in our pocket and extremely dissatisfied feeling in our stomachs ensured we would never be returning.

5 / 10


- janice

3 comments:

Ed said...

That's a shame. I just live around the corner and used to go a lot but the food got a bit worse and then one Saturday night they had a too skinny for it belly dancer. I didn't release it had got that bad. To go with the Middle Eastern theme the owner is Chinese (I think).

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