Since it’s the weekend, I thought I would write a review for you guys, to let you know about one of my favourite brunch places. There’s always been a bit of hype around the St. Ali coffee, but I found their coffee at the Church of Secular Coffee at Monash University a bit underwhelming. I was skeptical to say the least venturing all the way to South Melbourne at the risk of being disappointed again. Well what can I say, I too like to live dangerously, so off to St. Ali South Melbourne we went!
After driving around looking for parking a bit, we finally settled for a spot around 800 metres away. I don’t mind parking a little further sometimes as we’re usually stuffed to the max afterwards, and I’ll take any cardio I can get. If you insist on getting parking close to St. Ali, all I can say is, expect to be disappointed.
When I got to St. Ali I noticed it was just a massive warehouse, it reminded me of a place you’d pick up furniture from. When we walked in, we soon realised that this place was way cooler than any furniture warehouse, it was home to culinary goodness! I had to take a break from looking at all the nicely presented dishes flowing to the tables, and soak in the atmosphere a bit. The decor is very rustic and has a distressed furniture look about it. Other places need to deliberately make the inside look rustic, but with St.Ali being an old warehouse, it achieves this feel effortlessly. There were no consistency with the chairs and tables, as long as it looked old school, they were in! I personally loved the look of the place, the high ceiling makes air conditioning redundant.
The latte which we got here was a lot better than the one at Monash University. It was smooth and had the right amount of bitterness. It also wasn’t too weak and served at the ideal temperature. So much emphasis is placed on their coffee, but I actually found the food to be the standout! Presentation was top notch and the dishes had a certain finesse about it. The food tastes as good as it looked, I was very impressed indeed.
We got the Kingfish Crudo, My Mexican Cousin and a Bircher Museli. The waiter was nice enough to warn me that the Kingfish Crudo was raw, and I wouldn’t want it any other way! This dish was so appetising, acidity was bang on, the fish was fresh and the watermelon balanced everything out beautifully. Not that cheap for $22, but I’d say it was worth it. It wasn’t that filling as my first meal, so I also got myself a Bircher Museli. This was the best Bircher Museli I’ve ever had! The lemon cured labneh just did it for me. I had to google what labneh was, it’s just yoghurt strained to remove the whey. The lemony taste elevates this dish to another level, how can I possibly go back to other Bircher Muselis!?! Topped with berries and half a passionfruit also, it felt like this dish was custom made for me. It was my favourite dish and I highly recommend it. I didn’t get to eat much of the My Mexican Cousin. Helen said it was too good to share, she offered me a bite and it was pretty damn good also! None of the dishes we had could be faulted, perfecto!
Great atmosphere and outstanding food has shot St. Ali up to be one of my favourite brunch places. I admire the thought and creativity which has gone into their menu. A lot of brunch places tend to just follow one another and play it safe with their food. Full credits to St. Ali for breaking away and putting their own twist in the dishes. Make it your mission to check them out if you haven’t already been, because I’d hate for you to miss out!
Approx $30 AUD per person
Address: 12-18 Yarra Pl, South Melbourne VIC 3205
Phone: +61 3 9686 2990