Coffee Wars

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By Ravenous Renee & the Food Dude


So the relentless quest to discover that quintessential cup of Espresso in the greater St Kilda Area for our ‘would be’ coffee connoisseurs continues!

Our discerning coffee critics, Ravenous Renee & the Food Dude, take a fascinating journey of coffee appreciation, based on flavour, body, texture, strength and presentation, rated out of a perfect ‘5 Beans’



The Morning Post

306 St Kilda Road, St Kilda

Opened late November 2013, The Post Hotel has undergone a full restoration of its 140-year-old framework – with the public bar featuring a newly fitted out dining room and its bottle shop, a newly transformed, retro-chic cafe, named: The Morning Post.

The now modern gastro pub is situated on the intersection of St Kilda Road and Inkerman Street, with its cafe-sidekick, surreptitiously situated more on the latter; therefore you would be forgiven for passing it by without even so much of a recollection that it’s there. Furthermore, unlike the bistro, the cafe closes 2pm weekdays and 3pm weekends.

Offering a vast window shopfront, opening up what is a relatively modest, but ample and orderly space; it’s a great place to perch up on a high stool (or neighbouring table), grab a coffee and nibble, and leisurely watch the world go by. So, finding a cosy spot, I did just that.

I ordered a cappuccino. The chocolate interwoven artwork (in the creamy, thick head of foam) was a marvel to be seen. Deservingly, the Niccolo 100% Arabica coffee blend tasted equally as good too. It was full-bodied and robust, maintained an overall smooth consistency and showcased delectable notes of burnt butterscotch and dark-chocolate. Delish’, I’ll be back.

Cappuccino Rating: 4.5/5 Beans

IL Fornaio
2C Acland Street, St Kilda

How I had not stepped into this remarkable and renowned establishment before is anyone’s guess. Situated at the bottom end of Acland Street near the trendy Fitzroy strip (next door to the esteemed Circa restaurant at The Prince), I was welcomed into Il Fornaio’s with warm hospitality and a smile.

Maintaining a modern-industrial, cross production house feel – showcasing large aesthetically designed down lights that protrude from the ceiling of different proportions – this cafe oozes character and super-sleek charm. No wonder it’s a hit with the locals and newcomers akin. It maintains a hip and electric presence, friendly wait staff (by the looks of it), superb food, and, so I’ve heard (and have now been able to try for myself), great coffee.

Ordering a flat white, I sampled their seasonal, specifically formulated, direct trade St Ali Bayside Blend (70% Brazil, 30% Kenya), hand-selected in mutual alliance by World Barista Champion and St Ali coffee guru, trainer and partner; Matt Perger. Now I understand where all the hype comes from.
The coffee here is well-balanced across the palate and simply delicious. Delicate with gentle nutty undertones, my coffee maintained a mild acidity, smooth consistency and a relatively fine crafted finish. The locally sourced milk from Saint David Dairy did the brew justice too. Simply noted; divine.

Flat White Rating: 4/5 Beans

Gado Coffee (Hair & Beauty Salon)
6 Shakespeare Grove, St Kilda

Local personality and president of Acland Street traders, Palma Smith has an extremely popular Hair and Beauty Bar just off the main Acland Street drag in Shakespeare Grove, adjacent to the iconic Luna Park – it’s a delightful surprise for patrons.

You are probably at a loss fathoming about why I am featuring a hair salon in a coffee review section? Well, it’s like Palma explained to me: “there was nowhere around here for people to have an early morning coffee, so my patrons appreciate a ‘cuppa’ or two while relaxing in my chairs and I don’t enjoy filtered coffee. I was frustrated as to where I could find an authentic Short Black, Latte, Cappuccino or Flat White at that time nearby, so I decided to install a full capacity Espresso Machine akin to proper coffee lounges”.

So from that beginning, Palmas coffee service for her own loyal customers quickly expanded to cater for outside, walking by, coffee cravers in the street, hence a small counter and a table or two on the patio.

Palma, born in Scotland with both parents having Italian heritage, has the correct background for divesting in coffee, I suggest. She has her daughter Gabby, sister Domenica, and long-time friend David, all competent hair and beauty staff working at the salon, and now all competent baristas too!

I opted for a Latte and Gabby prepared it for me, she explained that they use the wisely chosen traditional Italian Genovese brand. Their house blend, the Super Brazil Blend, is the ‘piece de resistance’ of coffee connoisseurs. It has a unique and very bold but delicate taste, a lovely full coffee aroma and satisfies finicky coffee appreciators, like me.

Gado Salon is open Tuesday to Saturday from 7am and Sundays at 11am, perfect coffee times!

Latte Rating: 4/5 beans


 If you would like St Kilda Bites to critique your favourite coffee spot, please phone the Food Dude on 0427 382 772 or Email:

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