• St Ali (South Melbourne)

St Ali is an innovator in coffee, but invited to a cooking master class, I learnt it is taking new strategies towards produce too.

Spade and Barrow take veggies from farmers regardless of how they look.  The supermarket perfect standards has seen many crops wasted.  Instead, the whole crop is bought and chefs turn them into creations where the original shape is irrelevant.  Chomping away on flavoursome broad beans picked that morning, I saw that the concept was a wine for farmers, restaurateurs and customers alike.

Our taste buds were first met with Pepe Saya butter, a cultured butter , and Zeally Bay Sourdough with a chewy crust and light centre.  The butter did have a yoghurt taste.

St Ali are renowned for their corn fritters.  The edge was light and crispy (so you could here the crunch biting into it), with a whipped, light batter and corn pieces inside. The style was similar to those at Red Spice Road, only lighter and crispier.  These were served with a kasoundi which was more like a whipped tomato puree.

Asparagus and crème fraiche were simply served with a crunch to the lightly cooked and still dark green veg.  The crème fraiche was tangy and suited the asparagus well.

Broad beans were cooked but still hard with a strong taste.  Picked only that morning, the earthy flavours were still apparent.

A nutty salad was also presented with a egg yolk and lemon dressing.  Made with spring veggies, it felt light and healthy.  The veggies were all raw; mixed greens, shaved zucchini, peas.

It was a different experience of St Ali than the typical hectic brunch time with exceptional coffee.  But the principles are still the same; quality food and enjoyment.

St Ali
12-18 Yarra Place 
South Melbourne 3205
03 9686 2990

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