Update: St Ali North is now Green Park Dining
How was your Anzac Day? I slept in and then cycled with Meat-and-Three-Veg to St Ali North. You could drive there I suppose but it’s such a lovely bike ride and St Ali North may be just the most bike friendly cafe in town. There’s bike parking, a “ride thru” for takeaway coffees and a bike store next door to pump your tyres up.
We met up with our friends Jim and Lize and their daughter Bella. We asked for a table for four and said there would also be a toddler and when our table came up after a short wait outside the staff had it all set up with a high chair, crayons and a picture to colour in for Bella. You couldn’t get much more child friendly than that. It’s a pretty different crowd to the South Melbourne St Ali which is packed full of hipsters. At St Ali North the hipsters have grown up a bit and brought their kids along for the ride. The playground right outside the cafe is probably another lure.
The menu has a few of the same items on it as South Melbourne, including the famous My Mexican Cousin ($21.50). This must be one of the more expensive breakfast items in town but it still delivers. The dish is a great combination of fritters topped with an egg and a slice of gooey warm haloumi. It’s seriously addictive stuff and the reputation of the dish is well deserved.
Of the new menu items I loved the maple poached pears ($16.50). Probably more of a dessert than a breakfast item, the pears come sitting on top of a thick wedge of toasted brioche and scattered with dehydrated berries and cookie crumb. They are topped with bacon ice-cream which didn’t really taste of bacon at all but given there was so much going on with this breakfast that was probably a good thing.
Even a simple porridge ($14) at St Ali North is decadent. It’s creamy and sticky and comes with apple, poached rhubarb and a brown sugar crumble to add some crunch and sweetness.
This is St Ali so the coffee is seriously good. My latté was creamy and strong. Made with Sensory Lab beans it was also seriously expensive at $4 a pop, extra if I had wanted the bean of the day. Typical of the whole St Ali North experience, pricey but pretty much perfect as well.
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Details: St Ali North, 815 Nicholson St, Carlton North, 3054 (Ph 03 9380 5455)
Damage: Pricey. $85 for four.