by Stephanie Williams
While it’s not a new space by any means (happy sixth birthday St Albi!), walking into the converted warehouse that houses St Albi, it feels vibrant and like a slice of Sydney or Melbourne turned up in a back street of Moonah.
Ready to celebrate a birthday, we have three generations at the table and each take a good look around and have different outtakes – the older generation enjoy the spaciousness, we enjoy the vibrancy and feeling like we’re “out” rather than at a specifically kid friendly venue, and the kids like how it’s “all dark” and love the interesting lights and stairs.
The menu is a modern Australian mix of flavours and we start with a bottle of Josef Chromy sparkling to mark the birthday at the table. We order entrees to share – the warm crusty pita bread with garlic butter and melted cheddar ($10), soy and sesame glazed meatballs with kimchi and fried shallots ($18) and three cheese arancini with saffron aioli ($16). We all agree it’s a delicious start to the meal and look forward to coming back for all three. The kids enjoy the Rangers Valley wagyu beef burger with Albi mac sauce and fat chips ($22) and panko crumbed chicken and fat chips ($15) which are both quickly and happily devoured.
Time for mains. I order the house made gnocchi ($34). While it was definitely not a traditional gnocchi, the pillows of carbs were in a moorish creamy pesto with smoked almonds, roast pumpkin, rocket and semi-dried tomatoes which worked beautifully. My dining companions enjoy the chargrilled chicken breast with potato hash and Albi slaw ($34), the braised beef pie with mushy peas ($28) and the salt and pepper squid with zingy fresh herb salad ($32). Given we were dining amid newly opened borders and face mask mandate, the staff were wonderful – the right amount of attentiveness and fuss. They picked up on the fact we were celebrating a birthday and added a little pomp and ceremony when the birthday boy’s dessert was delivered to the table.
49 Albert Road, Moonah