12/18 Yarra Place, South Melbourne Vic 3205
Phone: (03) 9686 2990
I am usually not a brunch person and getting out of bed early on weekends is kind of rare for me. 😦 But I heard many great things about St Ali: how amazing their coffee are; the lovely ambience and of course the alluring brunch selections. So, J and I embarked on a task to fulfill our inquisitive minds and rumbling tummies. As SA does not have any showy signage and it being situated in one of the laneways, we had a hard time tracking it down. It has a plain white brick wall and I believe only the Melburnians who are in for a treat will find their way there. (See what I mean below…)
It was about 2pm and SA was still bustling with diners. We had to wait for 5 to 10 minutes before we were shown to our seats on this long bench shared by several other patrons. I am not really used to this kind of dining arrangement, it was like sharing in a canteen? The friendly wait staff gave us the menu promptly, it was rather interesting as its cover is in the form of a magazine!J is starting to venture into the world of coffee and thus he ordered a latte! He exclaimed that it is as smooth as silk.
As a non-coffee drinker like myself, I chose among the selections of “for virgins”. I got the homemade lemonade which tasted yum, not too sour, just the right balance.For food, J got pork me: crispy pork belly baguette with pickled cucumber, carrot, coriander, spinach and wasabi mayo. According to J, it was better than the one he had at EarlCanteen. The pork belly was more succulent and tender and with the drizzle of wasabi mayo, it boosted the juiciness, instead of chomping down dry baguette.
I prefer to go with the more popular dishes that SA is famous for, according to the waitress, it is my mexican cousin: secret recipe corn fritters, baby spinach, haloumi and kasundi with poached eggs. The poached eggs were beautifuly done; the fritters were great on the very first bite but as I had more, it kind of got too “sickening”? It had a good mexican twist to the normal light brunch you will usually imagine, the interesting flavours tingle your palate to their best abilities. But the haloumi was a tad too salty for my liking!