South Melbourne favs

Pretty South Melbourne is known for drawing a crowd. Hearts swoon over heritage listed buildings, terrace homes, and cobble stone lanes; coffee and food geeks willingly spend mornings waiting for tables; and consultancies claim to be the king of cool. Here are a few of the jewels in South Melbourne’s crown, worth the visit – and even worth the wait.

St Ali

They had me at ‘hello’.

St Ali boasts leadership in coffee roasting, but their genuine-hipster-cool staff definitely round out the experience, and then some.

When I first arrived, a staff member showed me to my table, sat with me, and then introduced me to the menu. And when I asked what sort of chai they served – she responded “How do you want it?”.

With staff who’ll chill wit’ chu like they’re your new friends, dope tunes, great premises, and fantastic interior design, St Ali provides a party you’ll want to keep coming back to.

Fig, prosciutto, hazelnut, basil, and honey salad

Fig, prosciutto, hazelnut, basil, and honey salad

12-18 Yarra Place, 
South Melbourne, VIC 3205

http://stali.com.au/

Chez Dre

Chez Dre Mac IMG_0198

Whether it’s a macaroon fix or an extended brunch, a trot to Chez Dre will provide you with some generous culinary lovin’. Our first visit down its cobbled path was for a sneaky peek at their patisserie range. On arrival, we discovered a treasure chest of beautifully manicured cakes, guaranteed to impress at any dinner party.

Chez Dre cakes IMG_0201

Approaching the counter, we were welcomed with an entire board of quarter-sized macaroons and asked if we’d like to sample some. “Would we?!”. This was a step up from free cheerios at the butchery!

Chez Dre samples IMG_0199

With this kind of hospitality, this patisserie and boulangrie is also a delightful place for a breakfast or brunch date. There’s an array of treats to choose from: almond and chocolate almond croissants; organic hot chocolate; Moroccan-style baked eggs; croque monsieur; and much more.

Rear of 285-287 Coventry Street, South Melbourne, VIC 3205

http://chezdre.com.au/

South Melbourne markets

South Melbourne markets IMG_0200

If you happen to be in South Melbourne, I’d definitely recommend also stopping in at the markets. From chicory to fresh dumplings to an array of nut butters these markets are a great place to get your weekly fruit and veg.

322-326 Coventry Street, South Melbourne, VIC 3205

http://southmelbournemarket.com.au/

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A beautiful thing

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Radicchio

Rushing out of Vic markets this week, some radicchios caught my eye. They looked so beautiful I had to go back for them. Once home, I rummaged around and found an excuse for my purchase: Yotam Ottolenghi’s Lentils, radicchio and walnuts salad – with NZ manuka honey! The warm red and yellow colours are a welcome sight in this cooler weather and the bitter radicchio is nicely balanced with the addictive honey-roasted walnuts.

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Yotam Ottolenghi’s Lentils, radicchio and walnuts salad

However, if entertaining a group, I’d recommend this salad as a side dish as the bitter radicchio can be overwhelming in bulk, or to more sensitive palates. As per usual, I made my own cuts and curves to the recipe, substituting the pecorino fiore sardo with pan-fried haloumi, omitting the chilli, and adding baby spinach. The original recipe can be found on The Guardian website. Enjoy.

Yotam Ottolenghi’s lentils, radicchio, and walnuts with manuka honey recipe