Even though it’s a fair trek from my edge of Melbourne, the specialty coffee roasting house St Ali in South Melbourne is absolutely worth the journey. Admittedly, I’m not a big coffee drinker (sadly, coffee doesn’t interact well with some long-term medication I’m on) so it always feels indulgent to have it.
Even more so at St Ali. I’ve tried three different blends (though rotation of blends is constant) and the aromas and tasting notes have always been markedly different from one another. I genuinely had no idea coffee could be so diverse – it’s like wine, beer and tea. Going to places like this inspires me to want to learn more.
It seemed an excellent idea to revisit for a birthday breakfast. My partner had a short black of an Ethiopian blend, and I tried the syphon. I was curious to know what was special about the syphon coffee and was told it was tea-like. Being a mad tea fiend, that was enough to convince me.
The syphon coffee is very mellow – as if all the harshness has been squeezed out of the coffee. It comes in a very fancy contraption.
The first time I had breakfast here, I went with the classic traditional breakfast – scrambled eggs, bacon and braised beans. Tomato relish and sourdough always comes with eggs (and of course you have the choice of poached, scrambled or fried).
Even though it looks simple, do not ignore fruit toast as a choice. This places does the breakfast basics beautifully.
For birthday breakfast, more recently, I nearly went the eggs again. I thought that would be silly and a little safe. I opted for the grilled salmon instead. I’m determined for a childhood of canned sardines not to get me down. These very adult sardines were served with slow cooked tomato, a pepper and apple compote with a dressing of mint, parsley and capers. Hiding underneath all that was rye bread. It sure sounds a mouthful, and a delicious one it was too.
My partner had the sultan’s eggs – eggs (poached or fried, the former being chosen) with sourdough soldiers, cumin salt, herb salsa and garlic yoghurt. Judging by the speed on consumption, it was very much enjoyed.
Would have loved to have gone to the Melbourne food blogger dinner St Ali are offering, but it booked out pretty quickly. However, there is an upcoming duck dégustation that I’ll be going to, and naturally hope to report on that.
Cheers St Ali for a great birthday breakfast, and some stellar service. It’ll be good to see you soon.