After reading a glowing Broadsheet write-up on the newly renovated St Hotel, this multi-space pub/restaurant shot straight to the top of my list. With a head chef who is Chin Chin alumnus, it's needless to say I went in with expectations higher than my heels. Much to my delight, the St Hotel delivered. The St Hotel's creative menu boasts a range of modern Thai dishes but as is my tradition when trying a new restaurant, I opted for the banquet. The heroes were the starters, with a betel leaf and smoked trout concoction followed by lamb ribs with a tamarind caramel sauce leaving a lasting first impression. A prawn and heirloom tomato salad packed both a visual and flavour punch and by the time we had polished off a beef stir-fry dish and a seafood curry, I was seriously doubting my capacity for dessert. That doubt went straight out the window as soon as the bowl of coconut-tapioca-mango-watermelon deliciousness landed on the table; it was so good I could have eaten it twice. The venue itself looks great, with exposed brickwork, timber finishings and a vintage bike in the front window giving it that typical "Melbourne" look. The St Hotel is a little more pub than restaurant, which is great if you want to be able to have your dinner and drinks under the one roof. The upstairs area looks like it could turn a bit nightclub-like after witching hour, but I didn't stay past 10 so I can't comment on whether it turns sleazy or manages to stay classy. Overall, the St Hotel met my reasonably high expectations. Instead of just being a pub that does good food, the restaurant holds it's own and is worth visiting in its own right. It's the perfect venue for those Friday afterwork drinks that turn into long boozy dinners, which is something I think St Kilda really needed.