You’ve definitely tried their excellent coffee but have you tried their food? St Ali’s has made a name for itself in Melbourne for its high quality beans but after visiting their cafe in South Melbourne I’ll be coming back for more than just the coffee!
First off, the interior. Absolutely stunning and eclectic. The cafe is located in a number of different warehouses that have been combined together in a mismatched way that adds a grungy character to it and is just so stereotypically Melbourne. Loved the touches of graffiti, leftover historical features and the use of the roller doors to create outdoor spaces. The space is also very large with plenty of tables and very fast service but be warned…it is so busy there so get there early unless you don’t mind waiting.
Not an ideal place for groups as it is quite loud in the main area but the off side rooms are much quieter so request a table there if you want some privacy.
The Dirty Eggs (Poached eggs, roasted bull horn peppers, crispy fried potato gems, potato & smoked paprika mousse, crispy potato noodles & padron pepper sauce) are AMAZING. Probably one of my favourite brunch dishes of all time (big statement - I know). There is a touch of spice from the peppers and paprika that is perfectly balanced with a bunch of mayo that calms down your taste buds so you can go in for more. Despite all the sauces the dish still manages to keep some of the crunch in the potato gems and some additional crispiness from the potato noodles. This is the perfect dish for anyone looking to start their day with an absolute flavour bomb as I couldn’t fault the flavours at all. My only regret would be that I didn’t get the additional chorizo…highly recommend adding that on as I think that the salty chorizo would be the perfect complement to the plate.
Followed by the Creme Brulee Pancakes (Two whole milk pancakes w/ toffee & vanilla crème, pistachio, dark chocolate ganache) which was outstanding - only missing a temperature element to really accentuate some contrast on the dish. Perhaps an ice cream would’ve done the trick. Otherwise this dish was another one full of highlights with the fluffiest pancakes, sweetest vanilla creme and that pistachio jam…absolutely to die for. The pistachio adds a very different twist on sweetness that differentiates from the other sweetness on the plate that made me intrigued but very happy it was there. Topping it all off was the bitter dark chocolate ganache that provided some relief from the other dessert elements. All in all a very generous serving of a very yummy dish.
As expected, the coffee was on point which was expected from one of the best coffee roasters in Melbourne. Overall the St Ali’s cafe experience is definitely a must do on the Melbourne brunch scene. Come near and far to experience the fabulous array of dishes on the menu that defy the regular brunch…and care to stop by the near by South Melbourne Market for even more goodies once you’re done :)
Presentation (5): 4.5
Taste (5): 5
Service (5): 4.5
Atmosphere (5): 5