21 Nov Saint James, Malvern
Saint James is a recent addition to Malvern Village from the team responsible for Hardpressed, From on High and Small Print Pizza. Named after Saint James park, home of Newcastle United, the mutually loved soccer team of Richard Donovan and Craig Tate, who partnered with Phil Gijbergs for this venture. Co-incidentally, the op-shop next door is also called St James, though of no relation.
It’s a toasty 38C today, so a kind no thank you to coffee, and yes to juice and iced coffee instead. Coffee is roasted by stablemate Yorkshire Brewhouse in Collingwood. The cafe itself is bright, yet cosy and homely, and there’s a lovely 30-seat courtyard area out the back, which is unfortunately too hot to enjoy today.
Head chef Martin Doran serves up a Brit-inspired menu, so we pick the traditional Bubble & Squeak. Hiding under the thick and salty kaiserfleisch, fried egg and roasted tomato is a moist patty of potato, cabbage and carrot, all on top of a chunky, buttered slice of delicious sourdough bread. The brown butter twist to the hollandaise is also very good.
Seafood and summer weather goes nicely together, and the ocean trout is no expection for today. House-cured and covered by perfectly crispy skin, the trout flesh is beautifully translucent and jewel-like. Equally enjoyable is the buttery, tender broccolini underneath. Almonds, kale, carrot and cumin puree and ruby Murray dukkah provide the finishing touches. Tie it all together with a squeeze of fresh lime.
We manage to nab the very last serve of the weekend’s dessert special, and we’re terribly glad we didn’t miss out. The earl grey panna cotta is silky smooth and has an intense tea flavour – something not all tea-infused desserts can attest to. With its strawberry jam and broken shortbread biscuits, it’s afternoon tea re-imagined. This is a weekend special that I sincerely hope will make it as a regular item.
Saint James is a cafe I’d happily revisit. I’ve got my eye on that fish butty sandwich.
Disclaimer: I was invited to Saint James as a guest, however, opinions expressed here are purely my own, and are based on my experience at the time
1376 Malvern Rd
Malvern, VIC, 3144
(03) 9078 8150