33 Guilford Lane

Opening hours:
Mon – Fri 7am – 4pm
Sat – Sun 8am – 4pm

Coffee: All Press

Mr LB:
“If I had an axe-to-grind, it would be the ‘jack of all trades’ bakeries. Such bakeries are mostly found in regional areas of Victoria who boast a proud heritage and somehow are the main daytime attraction of the town. Typically baking the widest range of breads, pies, pastries, sweets and cakes result in nothing being particularly outstanding; they are unfashionably matched with dated décor, dodgy lunch deals and large, watered down coffee served in mugs. To say the least, I’m generally not impressed.

Thankfully there are some fantastic bakeries that focus on quality not quantity when it comes to food and bread products. One relatively new example is Rustica Canteen, the latest addition to Rustica Sourdough’s retail face located in Guilford Lane, Melbourne. Taking over a warehouse space, the industrial look is a CBD bakery hotspot that offers a breakfast and lunch menu and a diverse range of sweet delights – including cronuts and stuffed croissants. With plenty of natural light pouring in through the industrial windows; the space is airy and lofty with its exposed high ceiling and plenty of seating arrangements for groups and table for two. Combined with slick furniture pieces, indoor plant installations and a catchy neon light statement, Rustica Canteen is more than a typical bakery.

All Press Espresso is the coffee of choice and is poured from a beautiful grey-toned La Marzocco linea pb. My Long Black [$3.50] had a lovely creamy coffee head and was rich, with a pungent flavour. It was sharp in taste, well caffeinated and yet not presenting a bitter overtone.

What I really like about Rustica Canteen is their principles on food. Speaking to The Age Good Food, head chef Tristan White (Touchwood) and Matt Vero (Tall Timber, Touchwood, Marquis of Lorne) claimed the menu focuses on simple food done really well. The breakfast options are limited, however, the kitchen rolls out a few specials to keep the menu fresh and exciting. Being a bakery and all, I couldn’t go pass the opportunity to try their take of Brioche French Toast w Orange, Maple Syrup, Toasted Pistachios + Vanilla Labna [$15].

Brioche French Toast w Orange, Maple Syrup, Toasted Pistachios + Vanilla Labna

The deconstructed plating played to my senses as the two pieces of brioche was generously dipped into the egg mixture, leaving a lovely fluffy and addictive flavour. This french toast took me back to the days of The Outpost (now closed), with its generous topping of maple syrup and powerful, sweet taste. The orange, vanilla labna (yoghurt that is stored in a fine cotten, stored for two hours and then folded with sugar and vanilla) and pistachio sides were refreshing to the palate as it effortlessly cut through the strong sweet taste of the French Toast. Arguably one of the best French toasts I have had this year!

Rustica Canteen is not just a cafe with a lot of promise – it is first and foremost a bakery at heart, which makes this CBD experiences even more special by appreciating their first love.”

Miss SL:
“Readers, I have been naughty. My LB and I came to Rustica Canteen in their first few weeks of opening and through my distinct lack of writing, it has now been open for a number of months without our review being posted.

Located down Guilford Lane, which seems to be getting busier and busier, Rustica Canteen is located just meters away from the infamous Krimper cafe. The interior of the cafe is warm yet edgy – rows of delicious pastries were on show deep inside the heart of the cafe.

The menu here is broken into three main components: breakfast (inclusive of pastries!) , sandwiches and salads. The breakfast component was what I was most interested on this particular morning before work. Almost 50% of the breakfast selection focused on doing basics well, while the other 50% looks at eggs-based meals. I opted for one of the basics – Seasonal Pudding – Quinoa & Coconut Cream Pudding, seasonal fruit, pistachio, toasted coconut flakes [$11.50]. Mainly because I’m a sucker for coconuts!

Seasonal Pudding – Quinoa & Coconut Cream Pudding, seasonal fruit, pistachio, toasted coconut flakes

This dish was deceivingly filling. Despite its modest size, the quinoa combined with the coconut cream resulted in a thick and creamy texture that pillows out in your stomach. All other elements basically added texture and flavour. The addition of the pistachios and coconut flakes gave some crunch, whilst the fruit adds a burst of natural sweetness amongst the creaminess of the dish. I managed to eat only half to three quarters of this dish and I must say, I was ready to burst by the end of it.

Overall I thought Rustica Canteen was great for a high quality, speedy breakfast. The pastries looked incredible but I could not have fit a single bite in after my morning feed. I would definitely go back if I was in the area!”

Final thought: “Pastries in the CBD just got a whole lot better”

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