Another hipster café in Melbourne. I went with mum and Stefan on his recommendation: I think he likes to think he’s a regular. (Admittedly, I will be telling everyone I know, and probably a few random strangers too.)
It is so, so ridiculously cool.
In case you can’t tell the difference between St Ali’s (cool) and Michel’s Patisserie (not), I’ve generously compiled a checklist so next time you are out for brunch you can casually whip it out and check your coolness factor, ok?
(Although I’m pretty sure brunch is not. Also, not sure if your brunch date should be your mum. I’m starting to think checklists might be out, too.)
The Definitive Guide to Checking the Street Cred and Coolness of a Melbourne Café:
1. An obscure location and/or signage:
St Ali’s has no sign.
It is located in an alley.
If the roller door was down, there would be no evidence of a café anywhere.
2. Industrial interiors:
See above: Roller door.
In fact, to get to the roller door, one must first side-step a dumpster.
Add in some exposed steel beams, chains, concrete floors, chipboard walls and giant vintage posters, mismatched chairs and chunky timber tables.
3. Your mum doesn’t like it:
– I’m scared!
– Is that because we parked in an alley?
– And because of the graffiti?
– There’s graffiti! It’s too modern! Let’s get out of here quick!
4. Great food:
I can’t remember the name of what I had, but it was slow cooked eggs (??!!?!!) with cauliflower purée and toasty bread. Stefan had some kind of burger arrangement.
I had real trouble deciding what to order – the excellent wait staff were happy to explain dishes and give me plenty of time to mull it over.
(I’m such a hopeless foodie I also forget my second choice – some kind of incredible sounding salad – if you go, try it for me.)
5. Proper coffee menu:
They roast on site. ‘nuf said.
A winning combination, no? Unlike my photography skills. Here’s a woefully blurry visual: