Rustica Sourdough's CBD sister venue Rustica Canteen is a move away from the brunch-centric set up of the original Fitzroy bakery. Taking up the former Utopian Slumps gallery location at 33 Guildford Lane, Rustica Canteen will instead offer city office workers freshly made breakfast and lunch options.
Rustica founder and master baker Brenton Lang collaborated on the venture with former Touchwood and Ladro head chef Tristan White and Matt Vero, co-owner of Tall Timber, Touchwood and Marquis of Lorne.
“Although we’ll be open all week, the canteen is built for quick service to cater to the city work crowds,” Lang says. “It’s a move away from the cafe model we have in Fitzroy… there are plenty of great cafes already in the city.”
Under White's guidance in the kitchen, the menu is noticably lacking in that ubiquitous cafe fixture: the poached egg. Instead, there are takeaway-friendly sandwiches and salads packed with fresh ingredients, all under $15. It's clear what the big ticket items are: the brioche burger with panko crumbed flounder and lime aioli hits the crunch factor, the quinoa, wild rice, kale and goat's curb salad ticks all the health boxes, and the brioche toast with Nutella, banana and hazelnut probably won't be doing any favours for the Nutella shortage.
Rustica Sourdough’s namesake sourdough loaves are delivered from the Fitzroy bakery each morning. Fans of the bakery’s savoury and sweet pastries including the sausage rolls, pies, signature Ispahan croissants, tarts and cronuts needn’t worry, these will also be making the daily migration into the city canteen. Weekends will see specials added on to the menu, so if you have to have your poached eggs, you'll probably find them on Saturday and Sunday.
The ex-gallery space has been transformed by architect Fiona Drago, who has kept the warehouse look whilst adding a display counter to show off Rustica's signature pastries. Plenty of seating is available if takeaway is not your thing, and the open kitchen shows you how the magic happens.