12/18 Yarra Place
South Melbourne VIC 3205
03 9686 2990
Open: Sun – Tue 7am – 6pm; Wed – Sat 7am – 11pm
So…. I finally got to the famous St Ali in South Melbourne… I hadn’t really had a chance to go before.
I know – it’s been a major gap in my gastronomic education. Alas – my experience there has left me a bit cold, and I don’t understand the hype.
The first thing I did was order my usual – 3/4 flat white. It looks lovely – but it tasted really insipid. It was really weak…
Considering coffee is what they’re known for – it’s a shame. I don’t know if I just got a bad one, or this is the usual strength. Anyway – it’s was not an auspicious start.
And… voila! This is the reason I came to try St Ali – I think someone sent me a picture of the French toast – and I had to have it. My love of French toast is borne from regularly partaking of the inimitable Fried Brioche served at Hardware Societé – a hard act to follow.
While the presentation of this dish had a “wow” factor, unfortunately, it fell a long way short of the “gasp and sigh” inducing dish that I’m used to. The brioche was dense and stodgy, and the raspberry curd was bland. The passionfruit had a bit of a zing, and the fresh berries were sublime – but I’m afraid I can’t tell you that it was fabulous. And I so wanted to….
On the up side – there’s a great vibe in this place and the service was really good… friendly and professional. I hope to get the chance to revisit at some stage and perhaps have my perceptions realigned… until then…