Evening Star is The Claypots clan's South Melbourne venture. Located on the outer corner of the South Melbourne Market, and it’s hard to miss. An Asian-styled hawker stall sells $8 ‘mussels on the run’ and $15 ‘chilli crabs’ from beneath a shaggy rainbow tarpaulin outside. Coloured globes hang from trees, marionettes dance in the breeze and old barrels form an endearingly hotchpotch seating arrangement on the pavement.
Inside, the dining area is divided in half by a long bar. There are only really two indoor tables; stools and a high, white tiled bar populate the remainder of the space. The drinks focus of Evening Star marks a point of difference from its St Kilda counterpart, which features expansive indoor and outdoor seating areas and fresh seafood glaring from the ice as you arrive.
Nonetheless, the menu at Evening Star is extensive and diverse. Scrawled in chalk on a blackboard, which the waiters dutifully carry around, it is simple, fresh and incredibly delicious. And the chefs don’t shy away from flavour. Top picks include fleshy garlic tiger king prawns, chargrilled stingray and Cajun flathead. Much of the St Kilda menu makes a reappearance, but the dishes are toned down and don’t involve rice, vegetables or toast to mop up the delectable spice-infused juices.
There aren't too many places in Melbourne where you can hear live music any night of the week while sipping some white wine and untangling a crab claw. On a balmy evening, Evening Star makes for a truly magical place.