When Stokehouse was reborn in 2016, it was re-imagined not as one restaurant, but as three.
Catering for both beachgoers looking for a snack to those on a special night out, the Stokehouse precinct is now home to Paper Fish, a fancy fish and chips kiosk, Pontoon, a casual and fast-moving eatery and of course, Stokehouse.
Pontoon lies next to Paper Fish on the ground floor, catering for those looking for something a little more than fish and chips, but a little less than a four-course extravaganza. Home to a custom-made, four-metre-long grill and an all-day kitchen, it dishes up Mediterranean-inspired flavours across both its food and drink offering.
The menu changes with the seasons, but is always heavily influenced by the grill. Come winter, dishes like seared halloumi with honey and chardonnay dressing appear, along with slow-cooked lamb shoulder with wood-roasted beetroots, goat’s cheese and freekah salad, and salted caramel and hazelnut chocolate mousse with Chantilly. If it’s the signature seafood you’re after, there is a weekly rotating whole market fish, ranging from fresh flounder to baby barramundi and snapper.
With an 18-metre long bar, it’s no surprise that Pontoon’s drinks menu is comprehensive. There’s a long list of emerging and well-loved beers and ciders, as well as a curated wine selection and a seasonal cocktail menu, which, for winter, includes a take on the classic Moscow Mule.
If Pontoon’s offering isn’t encouragement enough to get down to St Kilda, The Diner will be. Taking over one side of Pontoon’s space, The Diner allows guests to book a table any time of day, choosing from either the a la carte selection or the Chef’s Choice menu.
Pontoon’s happy hour continues into winter, with loads of specials between 4pm and 6pm Monday to Friday. $6 will win you a glass of Pizzini prosecco, a Strawberry Fields cocktail, a pot of Stone & Wood craft beer or a glass of frosé. They can enjoyed alongside a delicious $10 pizza, topped with ingredients like fior di latte with basil and parmesan.
With DJs spinning by the seaside from Thursday through to Sunday nights, as well as a fireplace and blankets to keep you warm, Pontoon and The Diner are stepping it up as year-round destinations. With an espresso martini in hand, the fire burning strong and the deep blue just a stone’s throw away, what more could you ask for?