Saturday 5 February 2011

Unbloggable but not forgettable - eating places

We went to the Rathdowne Street Food Store on the weekend. Only we found that it was no more as we perused the menu. Instead we were in an Italian cafe instead. It wasn't the sort of eating experience I wanted and so I wasn't so keen about my meal. I swithered about blogging about it but wanted to record the passing of a North Carlton institution. So I have decided to bundle it with a few places that I have never quite got around to blogging for various reasons.

St Ali
Those in the know will see that the top photo is actually St Ali. I first came across this cafe last year because they catered to the Eat Drink Blog Conference last year. I was impressed enough to visit soon after. It was a place for shiny happy people. Having an active toddler and needing to rush home made me feel like a fish out of water among all the hipsters relaxing over their coffees. The reason that I never blogged about the place is that I lost my notes about the pizza and couldn't remember what was in it. I did remember that I had such trouble trying to juggle Sylvia and a knife and fork that I had to ask staff to cut up the pizza for me. It was delicious pizza but too spicy for me and I just wasn't in the frame of mind to really appreciate it.

Tick Tok
E and I took Sylvia to Tick Tok Cafe in Williamstown a few weeks back. It had the right look. Swirling murals on the wall, chandeliers and an impressive display of cute little cakes. Unfortunately the food was average and the service uninterested.

I chose the dips and found them too creamy for my liking. Sylvia loved the chips and E enjoyed his big breakfast, though found it too much meat. When it came to ordering desserts I wanted to try one of the cute little cheesecakes with intriguing flavours (honeycomb, cookies and cream, cherry ripe etc) but ceded to E and Sylvia's preference, even though I was the one who was most interested in dessert. Maybe the cheesecakes might have made me want to go back if I had the chance to taste them.

Post Office Hotel
The reason I have been wondering whether to post about this pub is that we only got to taste the bar food because the chef was away. I hope to go back and try the restaurant food. This new local watering hole is very slick. We loved the decor, they did me a wonderful mocktail and Sylvia loved her battered moons - think chips in batter. I enjoyed the cabbage rolls with a nutty spicy rice filling but had expected them to be smaller and order way too much in the way of side dishes. This place is close enough to us that I hope to return soon and write it up properly.

Salve Caffe & Cucina
This is the place that used to be the Rathdowne Street Food Store. They still sell bread but it is no longer the casual cafe I loved. No more muffins - savoury and sweet - that I could grab when hungry. No more vegetarian big breakfasts. The breakfast menu is mostly eggs and pancakes. Lunch is Italian. I really enjoyed my gnocchi and appreciate the chunks of tomato in the sauce. But it just wasn't what I wanted. E and Sylvia's meals were less impressive. Most tempting were the desserts - flourless chocolate cake, apricot and ricotta cake and gelato. Unfortunately we didn't have the time or inclination. Maybe another time.

St Ali
12-18 Yarra Place
South Melbourne
03 9686.2990

Tick Tok
181 Nelson Place

Post Office Hotel
231 Sydney Road
Tel: 03 9386 5300

Salve Caffe & Cucina
617 Rathdowne Street
North Carlton
Tel: 03 9347 4064


  1. Let this be a lesson to you, Johanna! NEVER CEDE CHEESECAKE. :P

    I'm sorry you've had some lacklustre eating-out experiences lately - I always get so cranky when I splurge on a meal out and it isn't fantastic. 'Specially when you think how much happier you'd've been staying home and eating nutella fudge, for example...

  2. Oh, I live so close to Rathdowne St Food Store and hadn't even noticed!

    While you were in that neighbourhood, you might also have seen that the Paragon Cafe is in very different shape to when you blogged about it. Then again, you might not have even recognised it!

  3. Thanks Hannah - it was a burnt chop moment with the cheesecake but I have learnt my lesson! The fact that I hope to revisit all of these places shows that sometimes I am just not in the right mood for someone else's food (though never say no to nutella fudge)

    Thanks Cindy - apparently they only changed in November and the sign above the door still says Rathdowne Street Food Store - which was why we didn't realise just how big the change was til E had ordered coffee and we got the menus! D'oh! I did see the Paragon recently and was sad those lovely murals had gone - didn't eat there so wasn't sure how much the menu had changed

  4. My wife and I had lunch at Tick Tok today, we waited almost 2 hours for basic food which did not contain the ingredients listed on the menu. If you are thinking of eating at Tic Tok I would suggest you give this place a miss, it was a waste of a day. I think they got their name from the ticking time bomb their kitchen is.


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