Finn Café – Loose Change Lunch

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By Ravenous Renee

If escaping to Northern Europe to unwind in serene surroundings while indulging in lavishly good food sounds good to you, but you only have your lunch hour and a tenner to spare, then I suggest you hop into Finn Café. You will be pleasantly rewarded. The locals know it, and now, so do you.gnocchi

A gorgeous, very welcomed, and relatively new find on the quieter end of Carlisle Street (opposite the St Kilda Town Hall); this vibrant gem of a café takes its inspiration in its design, layout and food menu from Finnish co-owner Laura Winter, alongside her husband and joint business partner (also Head Chef) Marcus Wilson, of whom have successfully brought a little piece of Finland to St Kilda.

Intrigued to try this place out for myself, and in need of a quick but solid lunchtime feed; I was more than happy with my experience. Offering three lunch time specials (all $10) every weekday from 11am to 2:30pm, which regularly rotate and always offer at least one vegetarian option;  and with an emphasis on quick and fresh meals ready to go (appreciating some customers only have a half hour to enjoy their lunch break) and things were already off to a good start.

Ordering the ‘steak sandwich’ lunch special $10, and also being lucky enough to try the ‘gnocchi with pumpkin’ lunch special $10, and I got more than I bargained for. My steak sandwich (which okay – was more of a steak roll) was truly divine, and although it might not have been a mightier enough feed for some, it was worth its quality of ingredients and money spent. The minute steak used within the crispy seeded roll that I received was surprisingly tender and flavoursome, and with the caramelised onion, home-made sweet tomato relish, cos lettuce and light sweeping of mayo that it came with, was deliciously satisfying.

As for the pumpkin gnocchi that I got to sample, it was top notch – truly. The quality of this dish was equal to, if not better, than what you would receive at a swanky Italian restaurant, minus the extravagant price tag (the portion size probably bigger too). The pillowy dumplings were melt-in-your-mouth soft and mixed in with the plentiful amount of naturally sweet pumpkin puree infused with fresh sage, a dash of rock salt and cracked pepper (no cream added), and finished off with a dusting of shaved cheese on top, was the ultimate comfort food. Finn Café, you have my vote.

Note: Variations to Finn Café’s rotating weekday food specials menu and prices may have altered since last reviewed.

Finn Café

124 Carlisle St, St Kilda

Opening hours:

Mon-Fri 7:30am-3:30pm

Sat-Sun 8am-4pm

Ph: 0481 394 403

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