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Photography by Fiona Hamilton (event), Julian Kingma (food and venue) and The Modern Connoisseur (event)

Something old, something new and some Kandy please!

Kandian food, that is.

The newest location of the well-established Araliya opened its doors late June in St Kilda in what was a very modern introduction to a typically traditional food scene – Sri Lankan food. With music pumping, fabulous people and delicious fingerfood – which we were assured was true to size in the restaurant – Kandy was on everyone’s lips.

You see, Kandy is the city in Sri Lanka where owners Dee and Sam Wedande were from before they moved to Melbourne in 1981 post working inSri Lanka and the UK. A short five years later this humble couple opened Araliya Hawthorne, which has been successfully operating for over 30 years. Opening night speeches from Sam suggested that the reason the couple chose St Kilda to launch their second restaurant is because they wanted a location that nurtured the contemporary and exciting nature of the dishes they wanted to explore.

And explore they did.

Yes, there were some less exotic dishes served such as Free range Thirlmere chicken breast rolls with pistachio and chicken skewers, but there were some damn exciting things on offer including Afrikans inspired Lamb Frikkadels and Thai-inspired fresh seasfood sliders. The fusion-Asian dishes in particular were very well executed, bringing together unexpectedly delicious combinations of flavours such as those found in the Pandan cakes with lime meringue (think whipped pandan cheesecake atop a bed of lemon meringue topped with candied orange!).

The meals here are designed to suit a variety of budgets and appetites, ranging from $18-$27 for smaller plates and $24-$38 for almost all larger share plates. So if you’re up for dinner along the city-side of Fitzroy street and up for something a bit different, Araliya has you covered.

Food in pictures

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