Elster, a new Elsternwick lunch spot, just opened in a former 1930s service station on Glen Eira Road. The venue, which is in the former Glovers Station space, is the latest from Julien Moussi’s Only Hospitality group (Willim, My Other Brother) and is a European-style bistro, inspired by Moussi’s recent travels.
Elster toes the line between restaurant and café, and Moussi tells Broadsheet the team aims to deliver restaurant-standard service while maintaining an approachable feeling. As he describes it, the food on offer is “classic European fare rather than modern Australian cafe [food]”.
According to Moussi, executive chef Emma Jeffrey (Levi, Gilson, Mammoth) has created a menu where “everything is a bit higher end with classic Euro-style plating and more restaurant-type lunch dishes rather than [what you usually find at] fast-paced cafes”.
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Jeffrey’s menu includes steak frites, a chopped tuna salad and cacio e pepe risotto. But there are also classic cafe staples like eggs on toast, banana bread with whipped mascarpone, granola with honeycomb and yoghurt, and avocado toast served with smoked feta and jalapeno sauce.
The space has Tudor architecture roots and has undergone a renovation that maintains this aesthetic. The espresso bar has black countertops and is clad in brown timber. White painted-brick walls are contrasted with dark wooden tables and brown leather banquettes, and the dining space has plenty of natural light thanks to its existing large windows.
Moussi has also enlisted Gian Chiaravalle (Riserva) as Elster’s “in-house wine guy”. Chiaravalle has curated a short wine list of exclusively Australian drops and there are classic cocktails including a Bloody Mary, Aperol Spritz and Espresso Martini.
The goal is to create a place for people to sit, relax and enjoy a leisurely meal. But if you do just happen to pass by, there’s a small selection of pastries and sandwiches from Bakery Lievito and cakes from Clementines available to take away. For coffee, there’s the Roosevelt seasonal blend and single origin beans by Inglewood.
And while it’s not on offer yet, a dinner service is slated for the future, according to Moussi.