Grand BBQ and St Ali

Grand BBQ
Target Centre
236 Bourke St
Melbourne VIC 3000
No listed phone number
St Ali
12-18 Yarra Pl
South Melbourne VIC 3205
+61 3 9686 2990

Adam and I are kinda broke at the moment so we decided to eat on the cheap today (though we’re expecting 200 odd dollars to come into our ebay fund throughout the week so we can splurge next weekend perhaps). We found ourselves in the city and felt like something soupy so we went to this little shop, Grand BBQ, inside the Target centre on Bourke Street where they serve yong tau foo. Basically, you order whatever type of noodles you want (hokkien, thing egg, vermicelli, rice etc), whatever type of soup (clear, laksa, spicy etc) and you choose 6 “pieces” from the selection they have, from various dumplings to stuffed vegies to beancurds. The place we went to charged $9 per soup but I think the Grand Tofu joint in Glen Waverley charges a little less. Of course if you want more than 6 pieces, they charge you $1.50 for each extra piece you have.

I think I had about two prawn/pork dumplings (fried), one big slab of fried beancurd, a “vegetarian prawn” (which was really a capsicum and a slice of daikon wrapped with beancurd skin) and two mini beancurd rolls with pork inside. It was very tasty and filling, though I reckon that I could find somewhere that does a better job. Does anyone know of any such places in the city that do yong tau foo?

Next stop was to St Ali, a coffee shop in South Melbourne that is quite popular with Melbourne’s coffee crowd. I’ve only heard good things about the coffee there so I was pretty keen on giving it a try. So too was Adam as he is the biggest coffee freak in my social network. This place is situated on Yarra Place which was basically a dodgy alley with nothing in it. Adam kept asking me, “Are you SURE it’s here?” as we walked past shoddy-looking deserted establishments along the cobblestoned alley but he should know better than to question my sense of direction – after all, I am the Melways queen if I do say so myself .

Spending several lazy hours in a cozy warehouse-turned-coffee house with the Sunday papers and some business magazines, plus one of the best-tasting lattes I’ve had in my life = pure bliss.

Apparently St Ali changes their blend each day and today, they just happened to be brewing a Brazilian-something-or-other-blend (Ask Adam, he’s the expert). It was very rich with fruity and nutty undertones that gave it a naturally sweet aftertaste. No sugar required. At only $3 a pop, I can definitely see why this place is a Melbourne institution. Definitely pwns Starf*cks and their piss-weak coffees(sic).
I eat too much.


  1. icesabre
    June 1, 2008

    Niiiiiiiiiice… no I don’t know where these six piece customise your noodles places are… but if I could I’d do a Bok Choy, Won ton, Prawn Dumpling and Beef Brisket Noodle Soup… I’ve only had Wonton and Beef Brisket or Prawn Dumpling and Beef Brisket… wanna see if it’s possible to do all three, but then the bowl would have to be massive!!!

  2. peach_water
    June 1, 2008

    i always walk past that place but i’ve never tried it. My fob friends say they are really good, so ill give it a try next time 😀 thanks for the review.

  3. GODandShopping
    June 2, 2008

    haha @ Starf*cks – I only order water LOL

  4. Lady_tRucey
    June 2, 2008

    RYC: LOL yeah she is really cute. I’m sure you’re not old and it’s easy to feel young again 😉

    I do miss childhood though too!

  5. s_l_v
    June 2, 2008

    Oh my what a pretty coffee!!

  6. David
    September 16, 2010

    Now $3.80 per pop… someones gotta pay for the PR machine that is St Ali’s.

  7. JimJames
    November 27, 2010

    Ampang 9857 4480 on High st Doncaster has this “yang tau fu” concept, I think its the same price as Grand Tau Fu. Both are very tasty and good value.

  8. […] which is essentially a noodle soup topped with an assortment of stuffed items, tofu and non-tofu. A typical yong tau foo place in Melbourne would have their stuffed items laid out behind the glass cover and it’s up to us to choose […]


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