Disclosure: My visit was courtesy of Brunetti and Food Pampering
Brunetti is a total Melbourne institution. The first shop opened in Carlton in 1985 (though the current family took over in 1991) and it is now a mini empire, having expanded to several more locations in Melbourne, as well as Singapore and Dubai. The Carlton shop spans three shop fronts, and seems to be constantly packed. It’s a big, loud, busy joint with a huge selection of cakes, pastries and other baked goods.
Before I cut out sugar, I visited Brunetti with Food Pampering and a few other bloggers for afternoon tea. Despite it being such an iconic place, prior to that afternoon I had never visited Brunetti before. I know, I’m very behind the times!
While there we sampled a selection of items. This tray of pastries looked gorgeous, and on it we had: little strawberry tarts, millefoglie with vanilla custard, French custard tarts, and a couple of cannoli filled with custard or chocolate cream.
Unfortunately, I found them a bit same same. By that I mean while they looked different, they were all quite sweet and all the fillings were cream or custard. More variation would have been good, as I felt like I was pretty much eating the same pastry over and over again.
In addition to the small pastries, we also tried a La Crezione ($4.50) – an éclair filled with bitter chocolate cream slightly flavoured with orange and decorated with a very pretty chocolate plaque printed with part of The Creation of Adam image. Sadly, the choux pastry was too dry – it looked much better than it tasted.
Much better was the Bigne San Guiseppe ($4), a fried doughnut dusted with sugar and filled with chantilly cream – cream, vanilla custard and strega liqueur. But – gak – more cream/custard!
With the exception of the éclair, nothing was bad, but nothing really stood out. But to be fair, we only tried a small sample of what’s available, and I’m sure that a different selection of pastries (less custard/creamy stuff) would have helped.
Brunetti must be doing something right. While there are bakeries and cafes in Melbourne that make better cakes and pastries, none of them can claim the longevity of Brunetti. And check out the long list of blog posts below – there’s a lot of Brunetti love out there. I guess I need another visit before I find mine.
And for more on Brunetti (all Melbourne locations), check out these blogs:
[googleMap name="Brunetti" width="600" height="300" directions_to="false"]204 Faraday St, Carlton, VIC, Australia[/googleMap]
204 Faraday St
Phone: (03) 9347 2801