Rustica Canteen: A spacious Hawthorn cafe serving classic brunch dishes

Rustica recently opened a new shop in Hawthorn and it has been a godsend for those living in the surrounding inner south east suburbs. A little away from the hustle and bustle of the Glenferrie shopping strip, Rustica is located on the corner of Burwood Road and Power Street and the position allows for a lot of natural light to filter through the floor to ceiling glass walls and light up the store and add a nice natural ambience to the cafe.

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To start things off I ordered a turmeric latte. This was the first tumeric latte that I’ve ever had. Tumeric is meant to have all sorts of magical health properties and i was keen to give it a go. I was expected the flavour to be quite strong given the vibrant yellow colour, but was actually surprised as how mild the flavour was. I really enjoyed the drink – the dusting of cinnamon was a nice touch!

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I also ordered a matcha latte which was also delicious, it was quite strong in matcha flavour but the milk added a creamy touch that balanced out the bitterness.

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For my main meal I ordered the roast pumpkin dish. This came on a base on seeded bread that was coated in some sort of capsicum tasting spread, sprinkled with chickpeas, stacked with the roast pumpkin and topped with two poached eggs and sprinkled with dukka. I really enjoyed this dish – there were so many elements to it. The pumpkin was nice and sweet which balanced the richness from the egg yolk. I love dukka so that added a nice flavour to the dish.

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Next I tried the wholemeal waffles dish. This came with banana slices, a peanut butter parfait, berry coulis, and pretzel bits. This was a deliciously decadent dish. The waffle was nice a thick which balanced out the sweet toppings well. The caramel sauce was the highlight of the dish – it was sweet and rich and went so well with the creamy peanut butter parfait.

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Next was the bircher muesli with coyo, saffron poached pear, blueberries, pistachio and black chia seeds. It is the perfect winter warming breakfast dish and is really healthy and nutritious!

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We also ordered the smashed avo with a side of cured trout, pickled red onion, beetroot relish, persian feta, ground chulpi corn and poached eggs on sourdough. Loved this unique twist on the smashed avo, the trout was perfectly cured and the persian feta added a great kick to the dish!

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We then ordered the Baba ganoush with grilled haloumi, roma tomatoes poached eggs, greens, sumac salt with quinoa, soy and linseed sourdough. This is a great vegetarian dish, full of healthy vegetables and beans, I loved the grilled haloumi which was delicious and rich.

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We couldnt go to brunch without ordering the eggs Benedict, which included poached eggs, tabasco,  hollandaise, fennel and red radish salad with pumpkin sourdough and your choice of Pulled pork. I loved the generous portion of this dish, the hollandaise sauce was rich and creamy and the pulled pork was tender and full of flavour.

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Our last dish was the whole roasted mushrooms with mixed greens, reggiano cheese, poached eggs, white truffle oil and kale and walnut pesto with olive and basil sourdough. This was another great vegetarian dish, I loved the flavour of the mushrooms which were accentuated by truffle oil and the reggiano cheese was a great addition on top.

We then were fortunate enough to sample a selection of their pastries – we’ll share with you a few of our favourites in this post.

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One highlight was the lemon meringue cronut. I haven’t had a cronut since they were a fad a couple years ago, and was reminded just how good they were. The sweetness was balanced well with the tartness of the lemon in this cronut which ensured that the sweetness wasn’t too overwhelming.

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The second standout was the raspberry croissant. This was another decadent pastry. It was deliciously flaky and buttery, and the raspberry filling was the perfect combo of sweet and tart to balance out the richness of the pasty. It was quite the treat and a great way to finish off the meal!

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We also tried their ferrero rocher eclair and banoffee doughnut which were both delicious, the eclair was full of light hazelnut and chocolate filling while the banoffee doughnut was generous in banana, cream and toffee and also super decadent and rich.

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Overall, Rustica Canteen serves up some quality brunch dishes and some excellent pastries in a sunny and airy venue. It’s well worth the trek if you don’t live the the area. They have some more unique brunch dishes which are worth a try. If you’re a local looking for a place for a coffee and chat, it’s also a great place to check out!

Loveatfirstbite_aus dined as guests of Rustica Canteen as part of the Melbourne Foodie Hub. All opinions are our own.

Rustica Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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