Restaurant Review: St Charly, Carlton

It was a tough few months (or should I say 2020) in Melbourne with the stage four lockdown forcing everyone to stay home in a bid to control coronavirus.

Apparently Melbourne had the toughest restrictions around the world at the time…

For those who didn’t hear about it, our restrictions were that everything was closed except for essential services, and you could only leave the house for one of four reasons (essential grocery shopping, essential healthcare, essential caregiving, and 1 hour of exercise).

Plus you could only go a maximum of 5km from your home and mask wearing was mandatory. Tough fines applied for people not abiding by the restrictions.

Melbourne was essentially shut down.

So Melbourne residents cheered when we were told the restrictions would be easing.

Out exploring Melbourne after restrictions were lifted

One thing that I was very excited for was the reopening of hospitality and being able to go out for lunch with friends.

However, there were still limits on how many people can dine at one restaurant or cafe, and many were taking bookings well into the weeks after the easing of restrictions.

T & I decided to go for a walk down the famous Lygon Street in Carlton to see what might be available. The street was still quiet and not the vibrant hub I remember it to be.

The usually busy Carlton looking quiet after restrictions were lifted

Many restaurants were still closed and it was unclear if they would ever reopen.

However, one place I had wanted to go to for a while, was actually open. This was the cafe St Charly.

This casual brunch style cafe seems a bit out of place on Lygon Street, where every second restaurant is an Italian eatery. But it’s definitely my type of cafe.

I love how the place is styled with plenty of greenery, pink tables, and a mixture of wooden & black modern industrial furniture.

There’s also plenty of outdoor seating with small and cute succulent plants as centrepieces.

We started outside but the weather started getting cold so we moved inside. Unfortunately I chose a table right near the door and the cool wind came through the door to exactly where we were sitting.

The staff were lovely as well. I got the feeling they were happy to finally be back at work.

I was really excited about the all day breakfast on offer, but I now had an added problem: pregnancy means options can be limited. Add on gluten intolerance, and finding something you can eat and want to eat is actually pretty hard!

I ultimately decided in the big breakfast with eggs your way. My favourite style, poached eggs, is apparently no go during pregnancy. I should have asked for scrambled eggs but I was silly and asked for fried eggs (which I’m not a huge fan of).

There was definitely a lot of food on the plate. I had more than enough bacon and sautéed mushrooms. The small sausage (more like a chipolata) was hiding under the greens so I almost missed it.

My friend also got a big breakfast so I couldn’t help but compare our plates. Interestingly, I got a very small piece of halumi, while my friend got a piece that was almost three times the size!

If I was making it myself, I would have probably keep the greenery off the plate, or at least kept it as a small garnish. I didn’t eat it (nor did my friend) and I feel like it is an unnecessary addition to the dish.

My other friend got smashed avocado with feta and poached eggs, and it looked delicious.

T got his boring but standard order of bacon and fried eggs on sourdough. He said it was good but wished he was given a sharper knife to cut the hard sourdough toast.

The coffees were also good. It was so nice to have a barista coffee in a mug at a cafe. It’s small things like this that we don’t realise how much we enjoy and cherish until they are taken away from us.

One thing that this cafe lacked was its liquor licence. My friend was a bit disappointed as she wanted to have a glass of Prosecco.

Like many venues that were shut down indefinitely, this cafes liqueur licence expired during lockdown. They hadn’t renewed the licence just yet, which was understandable as it was the first weekend hospitality was reopened, and there were still major restrictions on numbers in venues.

I definitely will come back to this cafe in the future. I really liked it and it’s my kind of cafe!

Rating of Restaurant

Atmosphere: 4.5/5 | Service: 4/5 | Taste: 4.5/5 | Presentation 4/5 | Value for Money: 4/5

Overall: 21/25

For St. Charly’s website, click here.

Have you been to St Charly before? What’s your favourite meal on the menu? Let me know in the comments section!

Bye for now,

All opinions in this post are my own. Unless otherwise stated, this post has not been sponsored and I have not been paid for this post

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