Ten years ago, it was hard to get a seat at this much-loved, peeled-paint St Kilda venue. It may have quietened down in the last few years, but a recent change in ownership has re-energised the Melbourne Wine Room.
Chef and owner Paul Raynor has kept the front bar in its old-school form and created a menu that changes every few weeks, but still keeps some solid popular dishes on there. Freshly shucked oysters sit alongside a generous charcuterie board to share, while Raynor’s steak tartare with garlic croutons is a menu staple. There’s also a mini Waygu beef burger that has garnered quite a following among the locals.
True to its name, the wine list here is a delicious adventure of old and new world drops, and like the menu, the wines-by-the-glass list is constantly evolving with up to 20 to choose from at any one time. What was the dining room at the back is now a café by day and a functions room in the evening. Nestle in during winter and spread out on the front tables in summer to watch St Kilda roll by.