When it comes to coffee royalty, it’s hard to look past St Ali. A powerhouse in Melbourne’s caffeine scene, the roaster and cafe has been serving locals with some of the best specialty coffee in the country since 2005.
Salvatore Malatesta leads a team that drives Melbourne’s coffee culture forward. An entrepreneur with more ventures than most, Sal has established and operated scores of successful businesses in travel, fashion, information technology and construction, as well as studying and working in the field of law. Hospitality, however, remains at the core of his operations, with St Ali the flagship in his burgeoning empire.
It’s no wonder why. Housed in a former warehouse and surrounded by a laneway covered in graffiti, St Ali is quintessentially Melbourne in design, coffee and fare. A space that feels both comfortable and cosy, it features exposed structures, communal tables and a mix and match of materials, resulting in an industrial look that sharply contrasts the sleek La Marzocco Linea coffee machine.
World-class baristas will look after all your brewing needs with espresso, single origin, cold drip filter, and syphon all on offer. Not sure what you’re after? Just ask – the expert team knows everything there is to know about the revered coffee bean.
St Ali isn’t just a coffee lover’s heaven. The kitchen turns out fabulous fare that more than matches the quality of the beverages on offer. Stop by for a carefully crafted bite to eat from the kitchen of Head Chef, Dani Valenti. Croatian-born and ex Brutale and The Aylesbury, Dani oversees breakfast which morphs to brunch, then again to lunch, to after-work drinks, and everything in between. The cafe is open from 7 am to 6 pm daily.
Get started with the USA Today Pancakes with grilled streaky bacon, whipped butter, AAA Canadian maple syrup and a fried egg, or try the Dirty Eggs – poached eggs, roasted bull horn peppers, crispy fried potato gems, potato and smoked paprika mousse, crispy potato noodles and Padron pepper sauce.
Or later, try the Koo Koo Ca Choo, a crispy potato hash, roasted mushrooms, porcini puree, poached eggs, 1000-day aged gouda cheese, shitake mushroom and charcoal vinaigrette, or maybe the Crispy Pork Banh Mi, crispy-crackly free-range roast pork belly, pickled daikon and carrot slaw, coriander, cucumber, pate, mayo butter, crispy shallot, spring onion, and fermented birds eye chilli.
If you are visiting for a lazy afternoon or celebration, enjoy the wine and beer list, and to mix things up, the kitchen offers a changing lunch menu every day.
St Ali is a Melbourne institution, and as far as cafes go, one of the best in Australia. The Malatesta touch has been stoking the specialty coffee scene and pushing its boundaries for over 14 years now, and he has spread his wings throughout the Australian café scene, as well as now in Jakarta.