Saint James is the British take on the classic Melbournian brunch. The bi-product of a friendship spanning decades and several thousand kilometres, this café in Malvern is the meeting place of traditional England and modern Melbourne. Craig Tate and Richard Donovan shaped a menu inspired by their British hometown favourites. The duo have infused their own unique styles into interior décor along with some British paraphernalia a touch of home. We sat down with Craig to gain some more insight.
Mon – Fri: 7am – 4pm
Sat – Sun: 8qm – 4pm
$ $ $
Why did you choose to open a café in Melbourne?
Craig and I moved over here about 6 years ago from Newcastle and we both fell in love with the hospitality scene in Melbourne. The breakfast scene especially. Melbourne’s just the best for it.
What was the vision for St James?
The vision for this place was to have a nice bright open café that specialises in English food. We like to tweak traditional meals from what we used to eat as children in Newcastle and bring them to life in Melbourne.
Where did the name St James come from?
It’s actually named after Saint James Park which is the home ground of our favourite football team in Newcastle. We love Newcastle United and we love Saint James Park, so we called it Saint James!
How is the menu designed?
The menu is designed from our British point of view. All the meals on the menu are English meals we’ve recreated in Melbourne Breakfast kind of ways. Like the fish finger butty, the black pudding and the pikelets for example!
However it’s not all English. We’ve been here 6 years now so a lot of our past is in Melbourne! So we’ve also incorporated dishes that we’ve loved since being in Melbourne.
We change it up all the time. We try to do it seasonally but there’s a few dishes that we can’t be taking off the menu because of our regulars that come in for a specific dish!
For the most part we always try to recreate things that we’ve had in the past and put a bit of our own touch on them.
Is there any memorabilia from back home in the café?
We’ve got the Saint James street name on the wall when you walk in which we got sent over form the UK!
What sets you apart from other Melbourne Cafes?
What we believe is the difference between us and other cafes is our coffee machine. We’ve got a coffee machine that hasn’t been released as of yet to many Australian sellers. It’s called a slayer steam. The steam that comes out is actually vapor, it’s not based on water so there is less dilution in the milk when you make it. It makes our coffee just that little bit better! Having less dilution in the milk makes it creamier. You can feel it in your mouth when you drink it. It really is ten times better!