Richard Donovan and Craig Tate have been best friends since they were 10 years old. Growing up in Newcastle, England, neither foresaw one day owning a cafe together on the other side of the world. But now they run Saint James cafe on Malvern Road, which serves a British-inspired menu.
A mixed-grain porridge is topped with London Dry Gin-poached rhubarb. Bubble and squeak gets a Melbourne upgrade with the addition of a browned-butter hollandaise, a roasted tomato and a fried egg.
The favourite is the fish-finger butty served with crushed-pea aioli and dill-and-cabbage salad on white bread. “It’s a childhood memory, I used to eat them all the time,” says Donovan.
Coffee is roasted at Phil Gijsbers’s (a partner in Saint James) cafe in Collingwood, Yorkshire Brew House.
Plans to extend the 30-seat courtyard into a summer beer garden are underway.