St Ali

St Ali
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.

Brioche french toast with raspberry curd,
fresh summer berries and passion fruit

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…

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