St Ali, South Melbourne, Melbourne
St Ali is a fantastic, standout coffee house in South Melbourne, serving up some of the best brews in the land. But when it comes to the kitchen, it’s a bit of a roulette. It pushes the envelope in some of the more daring concoctions, these seesaw wildly from success to suspect.
It’s a busy venue, and we hit it up with work quite a few times. It was a nice haunt to take our suppliers to, and it feels very Melbourne. The coffee is great and most of our visits was simply foe exactly that. Like a lot of Melbourne they’re doing their best to impress when it comes to the menu. This is experimental, and we all know how that goes sometimes.
Koo koo ka choo with was crispy potato hash, mushroom duxelle, poached eggs, gruyere, chlorophyll and truffle vinaigrette. In the end, this was one of the more restrained choices. Funny to picture that now. What is chlorophyll? It tastes like token green. I liked the rest of the plate, the chefs now at least how to cook a thing well.
On the complete opposite side of the spectrum I went with the dessert-sounding and dessert-tasting springs rolls with passionfruit and lemon custard. How the hell did I pay almost $20 for this? Surely this is brunch scene gone mad. I had some sympathetic glances from my eating companions but this is what I chose and this is what I shall eat. It’s a spring roll with fruit custard. It’s tastes like ridiculous.
At one stage in the year St Ali were doing these wacky avocado salads. Avocado salad itself, isn’t such a weird thing. But here you get a full avocado and a bowl of salad. That just makes it even weird. So this next one. Fried avocado scotch egg. I know some Brits who would be in here with a pitchfork at the very sound of that. It was quite okay this time! $22 though. This was a shelled avocado with slow cooked egg, cornmeal and rosemary crumb, spring peas, blood orange and pickled fennel salad.
The dish arrived nice and quick and was a clever and interesting twist on the classic scotch egg. I have a thing for deep fried avocado and it delivered creaminess and crunch that made my tastebuds happy. The egg was good and made good on the visuals but makes for a slightly odd eat. The fennel salad was a good complement, slightly heavy on the lemon juice in the salad. Another interesting meal down for St Ali, always worth popping in for something out of the box.