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 hodge-podge 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. Evening Star's drinks' focus marks a point of difference from its St Kilda sibling.
Nonetheless, the menu at Evening Star is extensive and diverse. Scrawled in chalk on a blackboard, (which the waiters dutifully carry around to each table) it is simple, fresh and incredibly delicious. And the chefs don’t shy away from flavour: top picks include fleshy garlic tiger king prawns, char-grilled stingray and Cajun flathead. Much of the St Kilda menu reappears here, but the dishes are toned down and often 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.