We stumbled into St Ali on Good Friday, after the cafe we planned to visit was incorrectly listed on Broadsheet as being open. Not that I was complaining about a visit to St Ali, as the visit the previous month for the Texas BBQ evening was particularly enjoyable.
We were seated at one of the large round share tables, which made it a little difficult for the three of us to talk. Combined with the louder than average music, and a cold, Marg had particular trouble hearing any of the conversation.
Apart from the communication difficulties, I really enjoyed St Ali. Not just because they were open on Good Friday, but because all of it worked beautifully together. The fit out is cool, the location is cool, the menu has some interesting items and the service is very friendly. Tick, tick, tick.
As Gerard mentioned, this post goes way back to Good Friday. Partly because of the time that’s passed since our visit and partly because I’m lazy this is going to be a pretty quick post, so I appologise now – this probably isn’t going to be very interesting, but I’ll cover the basis, and there’ll be photos of food. I think the photos of food are the most important thing.
St Ali is a quintessential slightly industrial, apparently sustainable and completely hip cafe. There are share tables, exposed bricks and beams and features made from possibly recycled materials (like the coffee cup lid light fitting). It also sells really great food and coffee.
I love the fit-out, I love the food and I was mighty tempted by the cake/slice/biscuit selection in the cabinet. My favourite thing about St Ali though? I really, really love the fact that it’s consistently open on public holidays. I struggle no end with the classic dilemma that I work full time so the only time I get to brunch during the week is on public holidays and almost every time I end up turning up to a cafe only to find it closed. No more, after seeing that St Ali remained open through christmas, easter and all the public holidays in between, I’m sold. To avoid further disappointment all public holiday brunches from now on will be at St Ali, end of story.
Gerard had the eating with salvatore – shredded and crumbed pork hock with braised cannellini beans and a fried egg ($17.50). It was pretty delicious.
I had scrambled eggs with haloumi and avocado & feta mash ($10.50 for the eggs, $4 for haloumi and $4.50 for the avocado for a grand total of $19). The eggs were great but the haloumi was what really sold me, I’m a fried cheese fan from way back but this was the best haloumi I can remember eating. Just perfect.
Gerard’s BFF was on a strict fasting for lent diet which basically means being vegan and also not eating oil. He had sourdough with spinach and mushrooms (I think it was $16, but who knows really – let’s be honest, it wasn’t much of a meal).
The food is good, the service is good, the atmosphere is good and as the menu says they’re open 365 days a year. Also the staff will pull funny poses if you start taking photos with an enormous camera. That buys you points kids.