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La Luna does beef and does it well, but there’s more to this small but much-loved long-standing restaurant in Rathdowne Village, owned by accomplished chef, and now TV personality Adrian Richardson. Richardson is highly regarded for the quality of the beef he serves but there’s also crackling-wrapped pork, house-made cotechino sausage, fish of the day or the generous lamb shoulder to share for two or more people.This isn’t the place to bring your vegetarians friends, but if you are an omnivore, the laidback decor - bare wood, cloth napkins and artwork that outlines the various cuts of beasts - instills comfort and anticipation in the experience ahead. Service has the know-how to back up Richardson’s passion and moves quickly in the often-crowded room. Relaxed quality seems to be the ethos at La Luna, and they’re pretty consistent with keeping that going.
The name Shakahari, incidentally, is the Hindi word for "vegetarian". For more than forty years Shakahari has been one of this city's most innovative restaurants.Eschewing compromise, Shakahari has maintained a firm commitment to the two fundamentals of its cuisine: It is completely vegetarian and it uses only fresh, natural ingredients. Menus are changed quarterly to take full advantage of seasonally available fruits and vegetables and there are no artificial ingredients or colourants used.Shakahari has pioneered other fields in its fascinating development. Beginning in the early '70s by introducing ideas from Japanese, Chinese and Thai culinary traditions. In style, Shakahari's cuisine has always been East-West even before this term became the familiar way to describe cooking which uses Asian ingredients and skills in a European context.Today this restaurant's wide appeal rests on its expertise in creating meals which are light but satisfying, natural but attentively detailed in their preparation and presentation.In keeping with its original Indian inspiration, the interior design of Shakahari's Carlton location uses basic village tones and simple furnishings. It's only indulgence are two magnificent cloth paintings of the 19th century Nathvara (Rajasthan school) and a series of the earliest devotional posters from the Ravi Varma Steam Press, Poona.
Established in 1867 and situated in the heart of popular Rathdowne Village, the Kent Hotel was recorded as one of Carlton North’s earliest buildings. By 1897 the Hotel housed 12 rooms, a skittles’ alley and a billiards room, which provided great entertainment for the locals. Since then the Kent has undergone numerous renovations from varying influences, yet has remained a favourite meeting place for the wider community.These days, the Kent offers an eclectic and ever-changing menu of Modern Australian and Mediterranean dishes within its stylish restaurant, bistro and al fresco dining areas. It also boasts an extensive selection of local and international wine, beer and cider. Supporting local and micro businesses and community wherever possible, the Kent continually modifies its menus to reflect the changing seasons, and incorporate the freshest produce.A private function room is also available for hire seven days a week. The space is ideal for all types of events –weddings, birthdays, christenings, corporate events, wakes – and provides a sophisticated ambience, fabulous menus, private bar and beer garden, and friendly, professional event staff who take care of every small detail.Continuing tradition and staying true to its legacy, the Kent provides the perfect environment for all occasions – from family gatherings to after-work drinks and everything in between.
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