A whole lotta hype but not much to write about.
The whole of Melbourne raves about St. Ali.
I don’t so much.
Yeah they make a decent coffee but unfortunately you have to deal with all the other crap and that really takes away from the enjoyment. I compare the experience to visiting that one friend that everyone has, that you are always competing with and trying to out-do. You would never visit that friend in your track suit pants unshowered would you? No…. It’s the same with St. Ali North. You put in a lot of effort for not enough in return.
The menu is lacking in variety and does not offer a single breakfast option (A build-your-own list of ingredients does not count! Any peasant can write a list). You have to contend with a decent wait on a table and then deal with an array of screaming kids, mentally withdrawn wait staff and high expectations.
You leave St. Ali North with the same thought in your head that you also have after a drawn out, but competitive, game of oneupmanship with that friend. ‘Why?! Did I win?’
Yes the Ek-Mitondo Kenyan Single origin was pretty darn good for my double espresso but was it worth the hoo-ha? I just don’t know.
This rant won’t stop the locals from religiously returning and may provoke bearded screams of hipster kind but seriously if I’m investing 90mins and $29pp you have to offer me something more than a nice espresso with a hyphenated foreign name.
My rating 4/8
St Ali North
815 Nicholson Street
Carlton North VIC 3054
Better than a photo of the food
Fun cafe with good coffee and better food. Simple.
Very happy to visit Pope Joan on the weekend and have yet another awesome breakfast experience. No slop or average crap served here, just interesting and delightful dishes served efficiently by staff who don’t hate the world.
I was deceived by the enormity of this place. The 3 Nicholson Street frontages are nondescript to the outside world but on the inside there is plenty of seating and character.
Breakfast was great, and a relief to be handed a menu with actual imaginative breakfast options on it for a change….
-Yes I’m looking you St Ali North, believe it or not people want to be provided with inventive breakfast options, not just build-your-own,… lazy bastards-
The Black Pudding option was accompanied by white beans, smoked beef, a fried egg and potato bread. It was good but I felt somewhat indifferent with the quality of the key ingredient, the black pudding.
Salvation was found in the Pumpkin & Haloumi tart (see what I did there). That’s where it’s at. I may have been guilty of letting my fork stray across the table to frequently sample that delight. Luckily there was no divine intervention on the day (bang! promise that was the last one).
The Allpress espresso was pleasant also but had it’s characteristic earthy after-tones which may leave some drinkers wanting a palette cleanser.
Would highly recommend going to Pope Joan, you get the quality without copping the arrogance.
My rating 6/8
77-79 Nicholson St
Brunswick East VIC 3057
Black Pudding @ Pope Joan
Pumpkin & Haloumi Tart
Double the fun