13 Brighton Road
Mon – Fri: 7am – 4pm
Sat – Sun: 8am – 4pm
The St Kilda Dispensary only accepts cash. Medicare card not required.
“Brighton Road, St Kilda isn’t particularly known for its charm or history. Like all major arteries/veins of Melbourne’s busiest roads, its purpose is purely objective. We drive on it with a predetermined destination without consideration to the surrounding scenery. But just like a Kinder Surprise, you will be well informed to know that there is history surrounding this road. Enter The St Kilda Dispensary, one of St Kilda’s brunch spots that, in another life some 75 years’ ago, was a medical and dental dispensary, the largest in the southern hemisphere in its time.
Big points need to be awarded to The St Kilda Dispensary for retaining strong authenticity of its history. There hasn’t been a half assed attempt to integrate the theme – all decor elements, including the plating – strongly intertwined with the medical theme. From the classic blue painted walls, medical instruments and vintage trinkets decorated around the dining space, there is a warm yet familiar setting.
There’s only one drug still on offer here and that is the delicious coffee bean. My dose of long black [$3.50] was sourced from Allpress and had a nice well-rounded taste. As expected with the Allpress blend, it had strong notes of nuts and was well caffeinated – perfect for a morning coffee.
The brunch menu provides a good selection for both weekday and weekend, also adding a few alternatives. For example, the fritters come in two different fillings – bacon or salmon topping makes both parties of the fritter family happy. Deciding on the lighter brunch dish, the Oat porridge with roasted rhubarb, rosewater poached pears, toasted almonds & honey [$12.50] was ideal for the cold autumn morning. The fresh rolled oats were cooked to a perfectly and was complemented by the side of honey, which came in a tiny beaker. The rose water poached pear flavour could have been a little stronger, but worked well as a back drop flavour to the pungent rhubarb.
The St Kilda Dispensary is more than just a no fuss brunch location. Its strong theme makes for a special outing and with a menu that isn’t trying to be something that it’s not, makes it ideal for any occasion. So no matter how many apples you have had, a trip to the doctor doesn’t have to be a bad thing.”
“It was very early on a weekday when Mr LB and I caught up for breakfast at one of St Kildas very popular yet perhaps less known cafe, The St Kilda Dispensary, located along Brighton road near the infamous Greyhound Hotel. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve driven passed this little establishment and not thought twice about going in, despite its darling black and white umbrellas, outdoor seating and an optometrist style sign outside.
It was a freezing morning and we were both rugged up, sitting outside because I had brought the pooch with me. I looked envious inside at the beautifully warm and comfortable looking interior, wishing there were a magical way to transport Cookie home. The first room appeared quite cosy, and what I hadn’t immediately realised was that there was a second room with communal dining.
I started my day with the usual – a double espresso. They serve Allpress here, which I hadn’t had in a long time! Our host was a well dressed gent in chinos who was very friendly and welcoming. My coffee was very mellow but rich, without any acidity. It had very earthy tones. It was a gentle way to start my morning compared to my normal eye-popping experience with brighter blends.
For mains, I couldn’t go passed the Baked Eggs with roasted eggplant, tomato, chargrilled peppers, chorizo & Persian Fetta served with toasted sourdough [$16.90]. It was a freezing day and baked eggs was exactly what I needed! They took about 20-25 minutes (the menu does kindly advise to allow extra time) to come out but it was worth the wait. The tomato sauce was rich, thick and bubbling hot while the chorizo was greasy, adding a mild heat to the dish. The eggplant was juicy and tender- delicious! The egg was also well executed; bursting with gooeyness upon piercing. Yum!
The St Kilda Dispensary is a beautiful cafe in an unusual location. Parking might get tricky on the weekend but it’s a great little spot to have a good meal – as long as you remember to bring cash!”
Final thought: “charming cafe with great baked eggs”