St Ali seems to evoke hype wherever it goes, no matter what it does. During the week, I live on their coffee while I’m at work in South Melbourne, so living in Northcote it was music to my ears when St Ali North opened its doors.
It took me over a month or so to finally get down to St Ali North for brunch, but last Saturday I did.
We secured a seat straight away, which I was slightly surprised and pleased by. I was also very pleased that they let us take up a table for four with only two of us, rather than making us wait for a spare table for two.
Sipping our beautiful St Ali coffees, we perused the menus.
With north now part of the St Ali team they have re-done their menus, using the same in both cafes. The menus are the same with two burst out bubbles demonstrating two or three dishes unique to each venue.
I couldn’t go past trying the ‘My Mexican Cousin’ ($21.50) – for the first time I might admit. This dish is a combination of their secret recipe corn fritters, poached eggs, tomato, greens and grilled haloumi.
This was just as good as I was hoping. The corn fritters were perfectly crisp on the outside while being light and fluffy and filled with corn on the inside. The eggs were cooked well, one was slightly overdone for most but as someone who likes their eggs a little more done, I wasn’t complaining. There could have been more haloumi, but then again when has anyone ever said ‘too much haloumi’.
My brunch buddy went for the Just Eggs, served on wholegrain toast with field mushrooms and the feta and avocado mash as sides ($19.50 all up).
The avocado and feta mash was beautiful and creamy and she loved the cooked field mushrooms.
The space is beautiful and light and my friend noted that she felt like we were away at the beach. It’s quite distinct from the original St Ai, giving it its own identity.