Jazz Express

Get in the mood for some hot jazz and cool tunes with a $35 express dinner at one of Stonnington’s local participating restaurants
Jazz Express

John Montesante. Image supplied by Stonnington Jazz. 

Duke Ellington wasn’t just famous for his myriad compositions: the jazz great was also a legendary eater. On tour, Ellington could put away a couple of steaks, smothered in onions, a double portion of fried potatoes, a salad, a bowl of sliced tomatoes, a giant lobster with melted butter, coffee, followed by a combination of pie, cake, ice cream, custard, pastry, jello, fruit and cheese.

Stonnington Jazz doesn’t recommend exactly the same diet but they do make it easy for patrons to enjoy their own ‘jazz age’ at a selection of restaurants in Prahran, South Yarra, Windsor, Toorak Village, Armadale and Malvern. The Jazz Express program offers festival patrons a $35 express dinner of two courses and a glass of wine before the show.


On the corner of High St Armadale and Lambeth Ave, 8 Days is a favourite with locals offering classic bistro fare with a twist. Critics have described the candied pistachios as ‘teeth-stickingly delicious!’ In short proximity to the Malvern Town Hall, 8 Days gives you more time for jazz. 

Lona Pintxos Bar delivers a San Sebastian style tapas with a dedication to incorporate quality sourced local and international ingredients in a modern Australian style. At 963 High St Armadale, groovy Lona helps get Malvern Town Hall jazz patrons into the mood. 

One of Stonnington Jazz’s independent partners, The Greek Deli and Taverna at 583 Chapel St South Yarra brings a festival vibe with the Greek Blues Band playing traditional Greek music in the Rembetika style on Friday 16 May. The taverna invites patrons to enjoy their special guest musicians for $10 or participate in the Jazz Express deal for $35.

The Mt Erica Hotel presents John Montesante Quintet, featuring Julie O’Hara on Friday 23 May. On the corner of High St and Williams Rd, this 1853 venue presents a dinner and show with a three course set menu for $60. Dinner bookings are available from 6:30pm and jazz at 8pm. The horn-led jazz combo performs bebop, favourite standards and special arrangements with Tony Hicks (saxophone), Ben Robertson (double bass), Rod Gilbert (drums) and Darrin Archer (piano).

David’s Restaurant at 4 Cecil Place, Prahran have been serving traditional Shanghai cuisine for 15 years. A city of cabaret and dance halls, Shanghai’s status as one of the world’s great jazz cities is paralleled by David’s own commitment to Stonnington Jazz.

On the site of former Globe Café on Chapel St, Osti has made a triumphant debut in the neighbourhood recently winning 4.5 stars from the Good Food Guide. As a Jazz Express partner, Osti is conveniently located near the intimate Chapel Off Chapel. 

The Marquee Lounge Bar is a newly renovated restaurant in Toorak Village offering a nineteenth-century Parisian ambiance. With private booths, a parlour bar, linen-clad tables and black timber, the Marquee Lounge Bar prepares the senses for an unforgettable night of jazz. 

For the full list of participating restaurants including Morris Jones, Moti Mahal Indian Restaurant and Ladro, see Stonnington Jazz’s Jazz Express program.

For the full program see Stonnington Jazz 2014

Peta Mayer

Wednesday 14 May, 2014

About the author

Peta Mayer has a PhD in English Literature from University of Melbourne