Sam and Dee Wedande owners and founders of acclaimed Hawthorn eatery Araliya opened Araliya St Kilda, a Sri Lankan restaurant, in Fitzroy Street.
Araliya St Kilda, which officially opened in June 2014, features Sam in the kitchen as executive chef and Dee managing front of house. The Sri Lankan born couple moved to Melbourne in 1981 as part of Australia’s assisted skilled migrants scheme after training and working in Sri Lanka and the UK. They opened Araliya in Hawthorn in 1985, offering contemporary Sri Lankan inspired cuisine. Thirty years later, the restaurant is going strong, catering to a broad clientele of corporate diners, food aficionados, and three generations of regulars.
The Araliya philosophy is to serve contemporary dishes drawing from high quality local ingredients and infused with the spices for which Sri Lanka is well known: coriander, cumin, fennel, cardamom, cinnamon, and cloves. Sam creates his own recipes, refining the cuisine he was born into with the best of ingredients and every dish that comes out of his kitchen is of the best possible quality.
Araliya St Kilda offers the same style of food as its Hawthorn sibling, but in an environment designed to appeal to St Kilda’s youthful demographic.
Meal prices will range from $18-$27 for smaller plates and $24-$65 for larger plates. Desserts are from $15.
Designed by architect Emily Gilfillan and built by Horfield Group, Araliya St Kilda is warm, inviting and sophisticated, with a timeless look and feel. Textured wall panels, leather banquets and ottomans in the restaurant offset the sleekness of the bar, which includes two bespoke cocktail stations designed with speed and functionality in mind.
A key feature of the restaurant is a display to showcase the extensive wine list and a chef’s table, which will be used to promote special types of teas and create and offer new dishes to selected guests. Araliya St Kilda is open every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 4pm onwards; and evry Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 12pm onwards at 157 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda.