Disclosure: I was invited to dine as a guest of the cafe
When I think of a cafe in a bakery, I normally assume that the menu will be bread driven, with plenty of croissants variations, and delightful spreads…but not so much hearty and wholesome meals.
Well Rustica Sourdough was certainly out to prove me wrong.
I had walked by the lovely shopfront quite frequently, always making a note to Brad that I’ll have to visit some other time when I haven’t just had breakfast, as I know I’ll be far too tempted by the sweets. However, I didn’t actually realise there was a full cafe waiting inside to be explored!
The shop/cafe is bigger than I expect, clean and crisp, but quite inviting as well. There’s a lovely with locals popping in and out for their bread requirements and coffee fixes, couples sitting quietly over the tables and reading their newspapers, families fluttering in and out in happy eruptions, and the little girl on the table next to us smiling over her babychino topped with a colourful sprinkle of hundreds and thousands.
There’s no hype here, just attentive and personal service, which has clearly resulted in local love.
Oh and great bread. And great food.
I can’t stop gaping at everything that comes out of the kitchen, the portions are generous, beautifully presented and on a whole, look awesome. I’m keen.
My soy chai is a little lack lustre, a bit too milky for me. Next time I’ll double check the drinks menu first and make sure I get the Monsieur Truffe hot chocolate instead (cause how good does that sound?!) Brad’s happy with his coffee which is strong, smooth and creamy.
The variety on the menu is great, which makes it incredibly difficult for me to choose what I want! From French toast, to breakfast salads, to house cured salmon, which all sound so good…how’s one to choose?
I end up asking the staff what they recommend, and settle on the Rustica Breakfast Board, to get a little bit of everything. The board includes their house made granola with organic yoghurt, seasonal fruit, a poached egg on sourdough, crushed avocado and a cold pressed Finn’s juice! Why choose one thing when you can get multiple?
The granola takes me by surprise, it’s beautifully toasted, crunchy and nutty, just the way I like it. Poached egg oozes the way I like it, and the healthy dollop of avocado is smooth and just a touch zesty with a touch of lemon.
With so many components, I feel like I surely must be having a pretty balanced and healthy breakfast (which means I can eat all the desserts later)!
With little encouragement on my end (“Considering this is a bakery you should totally try the croque monsieur because there'll be a lot of bread in it”) Brad orders the Rustica Croque Monsieur, with ham hock, swiss gruyere, house made pickles and seeded mustard béchamel on pumpkin brioche.
Out pops a three tier tower of gruyere and brioche goodness. It smells amazing as it’s placed in front of us, and Brad swiftly demolishes it, commenting on how good the pickles are for cutting through the richness.
Since my balanced breakfast was so healthy (or so I tell myself), I decided to finish brunch with a flourless chocolate and caramel cookie sandwich, which is kind of like brownies in cookie form, with nuts and apricots hidden throughout. It sticks to your teeth, it’s rich and so decadent. Yum.
And just in case I didn’t have enough sweets, the guys from Rustica Sourdough were kind enough to say they would get just a few sweets for me to take home with me.
Except that a ‘few’ ended up being a ginormous bag of sweets, hot cross buns and gorgeous loaves of bread. Couldn’t thank the guys enough for their generosity!
Although mum’s not usually super into her sweets, she couldn’t resist breaking into the bag when I brought them home and although I planned on saving them for afternoon tea (as I was pretty full at the time)…we ended up eating almost everything!
The glossy passionfruit tart was zesty and bright, rich in flavour; the strawberry pastry was just oozing in custard and so flaky and light. I died for caramel cronuts, with custard piped through the middle, making the texture just right for me and the hot cross buns were just the thing with tea, lovely texture, not too doughy and all the spices coming through. We loved that all the sweets had a focus on getting sweetness from the produce in it, and weren’t overly sweet.
Long story short, I really enjoyed Rustica Sourdough. The heartiness and thoughtfulness of the food surprised me, and I definitely have plans to get back for the house cured salmon (cause the girl on the table next to me got it and it looked awesome) as well as the special with all the greens (as long as it’s still there when I’m back next)!
402 Brunswick Street