St. ALi North
Back before my food blogging days, there was a particular food blog that I would
stalk follow - Petit Miamx, an awesome food blog written by the gorgeous Catherine.
After exchanging tweets and comments the past few months, we realised how much we had in common (we’re both born in same hospital in the same year :O !!!), and so we decided it would be cool to meet up.
Coincidentally St. ALi North opened up their new branch in Carlton North, the week we were due to meet up, so we both decided to meet up there. We both ended up staying there for almost 3.5 hours chatting about blogging and gaming! (Yes! A fellow gamer girl :D)
When we both arrived we noticed that there was a huge line building up outside the cafe, but luckily we didn’t have to wait long as it was just only the two of us. We given a seat at the bar tables.
What differs St. ALi North with the original St. ALi (south) is the interior design. The original St. ALi has an industrial/warehouse and very raw feel, whereas St. ALi North has a more sophisticated and chic interior. Both still retain the casual dining feel.
Catherine doesn’t drink coffee on Sundays as it keeps her up, so she opted for a drink other than coffee. After going back and forth with the waiter in terms of the different drinks available, Catherine finally settled for freshly squeezed orange juice.
On Catherine’s blog she describes the orange juice to be freshly squeezed and reminds her of summer :)
Recently I’ve been weaning myself off hot chocolate as I’m trying to cut down on my sugar intake, so I decided to go for coffee.
Prior to going to St. ALi North, I read or heard from someone that their food menu is designed to match with their coffee. So I left the waiter to choose the coffee to go with my dish (Potato Gnudi).
The coffee that matched my dish turns out to be a filter coffee. Not sure the origin sorry!
The flask of filter coffee was enough to have two cups of coffee so I had my first cup straight black, and the second cup with milk added.
The first cup (straight black), I found it to be very light, yet has a really subtle fruity note to it, and a slight acidic taste to it.
The second cup (milk added) I don’t really recall much of as I only had a small sip (too busy talking with Catherine).
Catherine ordered the bone marrow, morcilla, egg yolk emulsion, fennel and capers dish that comes with filtered coffee and fried brioche. It wasn’t known to us at time of ordering that Catherine’s dish would come with coffee, and it was only when the waiter came around asking Catherine whether she received her filtered coffee that we then realised it came with filtered coffee. So much of avoiding coffee eh?! :P
Morcilla (blood pudding), and bone marrow isn’t something that I would order if I saw it on the menu, however I didn’t mind giving it a true. Both the morcilla and bone marrow are very delicate in flavours and texture. Very smooth and creamy.
I on the other hand ordered the Ricotta Gnudi which is a gnocchi made out of ricotta cheese. It’s served with peas,forest mushrooms, parmesan and sage. Like Catherine mentioned on her blog, the reason why I ordered this dish was purely the fact that I have a love for mushrooms.
We both agreed that my dish was the best dish out of the two. This is my first time eating gnudi and I have to say, I love it. I liken these gnudi to potato gems, but better! The forest mushrooms were juicy and tender. Definitely a highly recommended dish!
After we finished our meal, Catherine gave me the honour to choose the dessert, but with strict instructions that the sweet I choose cannot contain any kiwi, because she’s allergic kiwi! (strange allergy :P).
I looked at the dessert cabinet, and I have to admit the sweets all looked very decadent. However there was one sweet that caught my eye, and that was the Peach & Macadamia Tart with Baked Cream.
I had no idea what it was at the time of ordering, and I chose it purely on looks!
It was a bit unfortunate that it took a while for the tart to arrive, and we had to chase it up, otherwise the dessert would have been perfect.
As we dug into the tart, Catherine and I tried to determine whether the beautifully sliced pieces of fruit was nectarine or peach. We were later told by the waiter that it’s in fact peach slices.
The peach slices were beautifully sliced, and it had a sharp tangy taste. This balanced well with the baked cream which is buried deep within the tart. The baked cream is very light and airy and has notes of vanilla.
The tart is topped with a crumbly mixture of macadamia nuts and jelly. This has to be the best tart I’ve had in 2012!
One who visits St. ALi North over the coming weeks will need to take into consideration that this cafe has only opened up recently, which means that they are still teething out problems. However I personally believe it wouldn’t be too much of a problem because the staff there are very friendly and will fix any problems you have. Judging by my pervious experience at the original St. ALi, and this new branch, I have no problems recommending this place – the presentation at both places are amazing, and the food tastes just as good as it looks!
For something chic, yet casual enough, I highly recommend you to visit St. ALi North. The interior is stunningly beautiful, and the best about this place is they have a counter that serves coffee for people who cycle past the area!
Please also check out Catherine’s blog, to see her opinion from her point of view! Her writing and photography style is obviously much different to mine, but most definitely worth checking out! :)