An American style diner in the heart of St Kilda
Anyone keen for a competitive game of Battle Ships might just find their paradise at St Kilda’s 29th Apartment – the only difficult thing here is working out where they hide all the board games.
Arriving on a sunny Friday afternoon with little-to-no idea of what to expect, we were lucky enough to nab a table out the front, a prime people-spotting position in a suburb that’s famous for its hijinks.
Being any day that ends in ‘y’ (NB: it was a Friday), we were parched. So we asked Rory, their very helpful Bar Manager to make some recommendations. In the blink of an eye, we were presented with one of their ‘Pink Ladies’ – a sophisticated blend of Cognac, watermelon syrup, lemon and Peach Bitters that screamed ‘sunset drinks in St Kilda’, as well as a cocktail bespoke to Rory himself, a Mulberry sloe gin sour with passionfruit, lime, bitters and egg white. Both were lovely however the second was an absolute belter, perfectly balanced and surprisingly addictive. We gave it a 10.
By this time we’d pretty much forgotten that we were there to have dinner. Until the food arrived, that was. Before we begin, I’ll put it out there – this is not great date food, but if you’re steadying yourself for a big night or just want something downright delicious, it’s a great bet.
To kick off, we munched on a sizeable serve of jumbo jalapeno cheese balls, which were cheesy as they come, crumbed and crispy on the exterior with a whole world of gooey goodness inside. We’re both spice fanatics so would have probably loaded them up with a bit of extra punch but for most sane people, they would’ve been just right.
These were followed by a supremely generous serve of buffalo-wings (1kg), which the venue heralds as their signature dish. We weren’t disappointed, only in ourselves when we couldn’t finish them. The sauce was plentiful and piquant; lucky for our outfits the staff were thoughtful enough to ply us with napkins. This is where the no-date policy comes in – you’ll be covered in the spicy stuff so lucky it’s finger-licking good. Die-hard buffalo wing fans can have an unlimited serve for just $17.50.
As well as serving delicious, hearty meals, 29th Apartment is a great spot for big groups, offering numerous package options and plenty to keep the clan entertained. There’s giant jenga, a variety of the aforementioned board games and a drinks list that’s got something for everyone. It’s also a lot of fun to explore, with dj decks in the bathtub and, according to my guest they have (or used to have) a clothes-swap cupboard.
When you’re there, you’d never know that some venues in the nearby area are really struggling. On any given night, 29th Apartment is abuzz with people from all walks of life, whether it be backpacker night, hospitality night or any other night of the week.
We rated the experience, highly. Sadly, in my post-cocktail haze I forgot to find out whether they have Cards Against Humanity chilling in the Kelvinator by the bar, but I’ll certainly be sneaking my way back in to ask soon. And now you know.
By Sofie Batten
t: (03) 9534 0485
a: 29 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda