For some reason, a lot of my brunch outings seem to happen on unseasonable hot days. True to the trend, it was very warm when we went to check out the Rustica Canteen in the city. I’m a big fan of Rustica bakery in Fitzroy. Their Ispahan croissant and cronuts are some of my favourites, so I was keen to see what Rusitca canteen was doing differently.
Rustica Canteen is located down Guilford lane, just a few buildings down from Krimper Café. I love this location because it’s super close to the Melbourne central hub but unlike the east/west laneways it isn’t nearly as crowded. When you walk down these sorts of lanes it really feels, dare I say, like you’re exploring the hidden laneways of Melbourne.
It’s clear that this used to be a warehouse building, but I really loved what they have done with the space. The long display cabinet and large windows really do highlight the pastry and bread, demanding that you give it a once over. Although in this photo the stock is a little depleted, my imagination was running wild, just thinking about the perfect early morning scene filled with heaps of fresh loaves and treats.
I think my punnier friends are definitely spreading their sense of humour to me as I found the ‘we got what you knead’ fluro sign absolutely charming.
Despite the heat a hot cup of tea was still in order. This was actually a really good decision. I loved the earl grey tea that I was served. It wasn’t as floral or overpowering as some of the other earl greys out there and had a really unique flavour profile. I think it was from a brand called Camellia, but I’m not a 100 percent sure unfortunately! I really want to source some of this stuff for my own personal tea time.
My brother had the panko crumbled flounder in a round ciabatta roll. He happily tucked into this so it must have been good! I snuck in a taste of the salad on the side that appears to come with all the sandwiches. This potato salad has the extra addition of some pickles which preventing things from becoming a bit of a stodgy carb fest of potatoes and bread.
The crispy skin vodka cured ocean trout with poached eggs on light rye toast is the sort of dish that I would usually order, but my mum spotted it first and called dibs on it. The portion of salmon was really generous and the eggs were cooked to gooey perfection. I’m just upset that I didn’t get in on this first!
Feeling a little bit more health conscious than usual I had the honey roasted pumpkin and lentil salad. This was a great combination of contrasting flavours and textures. I particularly liked just how well dressed the salad was from the first to the last bite. I found the royal blue potatoes in the dish a little unnecessary but they certainly helped add that little bit of visual interest. Having gotten used to quinoa salads, I had forgotten just how filling lentils are, so at the end of this I was pretty full. At only $12 I feel like this offers great value for a meal in the city!
Unfortunately this visit wasn’t as perfect as it could have been. While I was eating my salad, I found a stone in it. This is pretty understandable as small stones turn up in lentils all the time and are really difficult to sort out, but needless to say it would not have been the most pleasant thing ever if I had actually eaten it. I wasn’t too fazed by it because I had managed to avoid eating it or chipping a tooth on it but I still thought that I would point it out.
The wait staff were very apologetic and offered a free dessert to make up for it. Although I was full, free dessert is hard to turn down. That was how we ended the meal with a citrus curd cronut. As I said at the start of this post, Rustica does some really good cronuts. This is also true of their city location. These were crispy, flaky, sweet and sinfully delicious. I felt like I had undone all my good work in picking the healthy menu options, but it was worth it!
Apart from the mishap with my salad, this was really a perfect brunch experience. I’m sure that everyone’s happy that this charming space has opened up in the cbd.