Even though everything was cooked well, but I didn’t quite like this dish as much as I thought I would. The corn fritters were very big and they reminded me of dumplings more than fritters, as I always think of fritters as being round and flat like pancakes.
New Family Member – St Ali North
Before I left Melbourne I made sure I had a decent brunch because I knew I wasn’t going to get a decent cup of coffee in HK :) St Ali North, the newest addiction to the thriving St Ali (South Melbourne) family who also own and operate ‘ My Mexican Cousin’ in South Bank. This time they have opened up in the north and I assume hence the name, St Ali North. Mr Bao has always been a fan of St Ali, so was definitely interested in trying ~
Initially, we were going to wait till I come back before we visited, just because we wanted to let them settle in and usually the first couple of weeks of a new cafe there will be some teething issues. But being the Christmas/New Year period, many cafes are closed, while St Ali North remains open everyday YAY! So just before going to the airport we decided to try them out :)
The address for St Ali North says ‘Nicholson St’ but really it’s on Park St and behind the bike store ~ there’s quite a lot of street parking, so you shouldn’t have any trouble. I don’t think they take bookings (like most) so I suggest going there early to avoid crowds :D
Upon arriving, we were both surprised to see it being such a large cafe ~ definitely much bigger than we expected with a row of chairs outside for customers to sit while waiting. We got there at around 10:30 and was very lucky, even though it was busy we didn’t have to wait for a table, and was immediately led to a table for two in the back, next to the baristas.
Starting with my signature mocha and also savouring every sip it was presented very nicely and reminded me of Hardware Societe with the chocolate served separately. This mocha was lovely with a light coffee flavour and I could tell they used good quality chocolate as it deep and rich.
Mr Bao wanted to try the single origin and had it in a magic :) to me it was a little too bitter but he seemed really pleased with it and said it had some nice earth notes ~
I was tossing between a muesli and yoghurt based breakie (because I love yoghurt) or a egg focused one :) Mr Bao said its too ‘plain’ and boring to get a Bircher muesli. So after some deliberation, I decided to get the My Mexican Cousin, which were corn fritters with two poached eggs, halloumi cheese tomato and kasundi which is kind of like salsa ~
These were simply a little too doughy with not enough corn for me, but I know others like it, so it might just be me being weird :D However, I did like the combination of the chutney, salsa and houllumi which balanced everything out so well.
Mr Bao was either going to get the bone marrow dish but then decided against it and went for more a conventional breakfast ~ So he got the bacon with baked beans, scrambled eggs and pork sausages. We really liked the flavours of the baked beans, even though the canneli beans appeared slightly undercooked, and wasn’t as soft and had a firmness to it. The star of this dish was the pork sausages though, they had a strong lemon flavour some might find it slightly overpowering, but we loved it :) Mr Bao also liked the scambled eggs as they it wasn’t as creamy and in individual folds, while I prefer mine to be creamy and fluffy ~
I was so surprised and excited when I saw on the cake menu that they were made by Shaun Quade :D For those who don’t know Shaun he’s the extremely talented pastry chef, who had onced worked at Quay and since September have been offering a special dessert night at Duchess of Spotswood. I have gone twice (Sorry haven’t had time to blog about it) and immensely enjoyed it!
For once Mr Bao actually chose the dessert ~ hahaha I don’t really mind as long as we got dessert :) He did well, in choosing the Lemon Merengue Cake, which two sponge cakes and in between sandwiched lemon curd and I’m pretty sure caramel! It was SO delicious! The sponge cakes was soft and moist and went best part it’s GLUTEN FREE! Perfect for my friends such as Little Miss Melbourne YAY!
Overall, we enjoyed our visit to St Ali North, just like its predecessor they do their food well and coffee even better :) There were a few things that coud have been improved, but given that they are still fairly new, I think they’ve done a great job settling in ~ We will definitely come back to try their other dishes that are more unique dishes such as the savoury ancient granola and bone marrow with egg yolk emulsion.