St Ali, South Melbourne

12/23/2015 , 1 Comments

St Ali is a famous cafe in the South Melbourne area, close to South Melbourne market off Claredon St and easily accessible by tram 12/96. It's best known for its coffee, though unfortunately as neither my friend or I are coffee drinkers, we didn't try it out. We did have an enjoyable experience here though, and will definitely be visiting again some time.

The cafe itself is situated in a warehouse so it's very wide and spacious, and quite brightly lit. As it is such a popular place, there's always lots of people, and we did find that we had to raise our voices to hear each other above the music. The whole place has a very arty, quirky vibe to it, with a vibrant and lively atmosphere. We went around 12pm on a Saturday and surprisingly didn't have to wait at all for a table. The service was really great; the food and drinks came out really quickly, and the staff were warm, attentive and friendly. There are a lot of large communal tables that take up most of the cafe, as well as several tables for up to four people.

There's no time limit for the menu - everything can be ordered all throughout the day, and there's a good mix of breakfast and lunch items that cater for vegetarians, gluten, dairy and sugar free dietary requirements. There's also a specials menu of the day, and a large range of coffees and other drinks. We decided to share two dishes - Nick's Cold Pressed Salmon ($23) from the Specials Menu, and My Mexican Cousin ($22.50). We also got a orange juice and a 'detox' juice ($8 each). The orange juice was refreshing and sweet, though I thought it could've been a little colder. I also felt that it was quite pricey for just an orange juice - some of their other special juices also cost the same amount, and they have a lot more ingredients in it. The detox juice consisted of beetroot, carrot, celery, ginger and apple, and was really fresh with a great beetroot flavour. It was really full of flavour and not watered down at all, which was really enjoyable.

The Cold Pressed Salmon also came with poached eggs and spinach, on a truffle hollandaise sauce. The salmon was really fresh and didn't have a fishy flavour at all. I felt that there was quite a bit of hollandaise sauce on the dish, almost to the point of being overpowering - the flavour was a bit stronger than most hollandaise sauces I've had, and felt like there was quite a bit of vinegar or some acidic ingredient in it. The eggs were perfectly cooked and went really well with the salmon, and the spinach added extra texture, though it would've been nice to have a bit more of it.

The corn fritters were made from a secret recipe (as stated on the menu!) and served with poached eggs, grilled halloumi, tomato salsa, tomato relish and a green salad. This was a really enjoyable dish, especially the corn fritters themselves, which were lovely and crispy on the outside with a soft and slightly grainy texture on the inside together with the corn and a subtle spicy flavour. The fritters went really well with the refreshing tomato salsa and the green salad for a balanced dish, and the grilled halloumi added extra flavours. I'd definitely recommend this dish if you visit St Ali.

I can definitely see why St Ali is such a popular cafe; with the great service and interesting menu (and of course the coffee which I'm assuming is great!). The menu items all have funky names, and the dishes feel more adventurous then the typical brunch food you'd expect to eat at cafes. Worth visiting for sure!

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1 comment:

  1. Great review Vivian! Love the photos! What restaurant have you had the best corn fritters? Remember to add it to your Besty List!


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