Sunday, April 18, 2010

Outing Outpost

Outpost by St. Ali
9 Yarra Street, South Yarra
Telephone: 03 9827 8588

Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 7am-5pm; Weekends 8am-4pm

I am late - at this post, at Outpost. A thousand apologies.

St. Ali, Fabulous he!
Ali of Yarra
Genuflect, shorn some respect
Down on one knee*

If ever there was an exalted coffee connoisseur, St. Ali would be it.

Now, try your best to stay calm
Brush up your Sunday salaam
Then come and meet his spectacular cof-fee*

*To the transcendent tune of Aladdin's Prince Ali.

And although I remain agnostic regarding Melbourne's religion of coffee, there is much to be said for its messiahs. Not one to be left behind, I dutifully agree to attend at a Saturday morning sermon.

As far as appearances go, this is an exquisite temple indeed.

Walk through to pray with the masses at the back.

Literally, our table is an arm's length.

Worship at your leisure, it was a full ten minutes before our orders were taken; the flat white arrived four minutes later (good), the food twenty-five (it better be good).

What we lack in thirst, we make up in appetite. We went extremist on extras.

Free range eggs on toast with homemade tomato relish ($9.50), Daylesford smoked bacon (+$3.50), roasted roma tomato (+3.50), balsamic and thyme roasted field mushrooms (+$4.00), grilled chorizo ($4.00), avocado and feta mash ($4.50).

Extra poached eggs:

Basically, a blessed breakfast for two weighing in at $29.00.

Sublime? Well, I relished the relish. Everything else was pretty standard café fare. Some rumblings: scrambled was slightly overcooked, poached a little sour (laced with vinegar), and the avocado fridge-cold. "Underwhelming," says hungry, hungry sister.

There was not much redemption in the twee-est, teeniest lemon cupcake you ever saw (comes in two sizes - this is the mini).

It was as sweet as sweet can be - unfortunately not in a good way. Not wretched, but not wonderful either.

Almost everyone loves this place, so I feel like a bit of a malcontent. Was Outpost otherworldly? Not to us. And with better brunch offerings around, I'm not in a hurry to walk over water to return.

Pay homage if you're a coffee devotee/in the 'hood/unfailingly fashionable. Pass if not.

Outpost on Urbanspoon


  1. I remember reading so much about this place but not quite understanding the concept, the pictures make so much more sense now!

    Shame the eggs weren't as great as they could be, because the scrambled does look enticing. So alas, as I am not a coffee purist, I might just stick to what I already know and like. :]

  2. The extras look good! I hope the coffee was too. Love the Aladdin theme. Pity you weren't at a certain Arabian themed party that a certain friend of yours organised and we played a certain song that you may or may not have used in this post. Tut tut.

  3. You are not the odd one out. I did not think very much of it either.

  4. Oh, how disappointing. Been meaning to go here for ages, but Melbourne keeps opening up other new cafes to try out! Not that I'm complaining! LOL

    At least the relish was good....

  5. Aw, sad you didn't like Outpost. I really enjoyed it, and I don't drink coffee! But I did go early on a Saturday, before the brunch hordes, and a had a nice chat to the chef Paul Jewry. Try again!

    Jetsetting Joyce

  6. Ashley: I know exactly what you mean, I never know what to make of labels like 'outpost' or say 'pop-up store'...

    Yunny: May I extend my deepest apologies and take you out for dinner tonight?

    Penny: Yes I saw that! Shame.

    Adrian: Soo true. It becomes almost blasphemous to visit a place more than once.

    Joyce: I might on another Saturday - will keep you posted! :)

  7. Reputation of St Ali had me very excited to try the brunch here. However expectations were far from met. The staff were dismissive and rude, the wait for a menu was at least 15 minutes and seeing the kitchen-hand wipe a spill off the floor with a cloth which was then put back on the preparation area was disgusting. After having to ask to have our order taken and then being ignored we walked out. Disappointed would be an understatement. I will never return.