Thursday, June 6, 2013

Brunetti, Melbourne CBD by Bureaucrat

With the visit of Ms N and Mr N from Siddeny, Mother Hen and I played tourist guides for an afternoon. As we were limited by the fact that we had to stay fairly central in the city, and that Ms N and Mr N wanted to do some retail therapy, and that it was late in the afternoon, I decided to take them to one of Melbourne's better known eateries - Brunetti. Admittedly, it wasn't the one in Carlton, but the newer outpost inside Myer.

Dolce Amore

Situated among the clothes, Brunetti is a hub of activity and shoppers looking for a nice cuppa w some even nicer cakes to go with it. The first impression we all had was, can we find a table? It was somewhat chaotic, noisy and you get the feeling that there's not enough waiters around to clear the tables or take orders quickly enough.

By a stroke of luck, we managed to score a table for the four of us. Ordering was also a bit of hassle. There's no table service, you (along with all the many other shoppers) crowd around the counter to place your order. It doesn't help that there's no real system here... even a number/ticketing system would make a big difference. You kinda have to be a little aggressive to make sure that you get served, as there are many competing shoppers wanting to place their orders.

Given that it's so hectic, I quickly picked a few cakes - I really didn't have the luxury of looking over the many treats on over. With the cakes sorted, I then had to hang around for the coffee and teas to be made. This was worse than ordering the cakes - once the drinks are made, the waiters just place them on the counter. There's no names, no numbers, no idea of what's being served.

With the ordering ordeal over, I sat down and we all grabbed a fork ready to dive into the sweet, sweet goodies.

The first cake that grabbed my attention at the counter, and now at the table, was the Dolce Amore (see first pic). A coconut sponge filled cake w strawberry confit and strawb cream. It was as delicious as it looks. Luckily for me, I couldn't taste the coconut. But I could taste the incredibly genuine strawberry flavour. The confit was the good stuff (not some coagulated cheap jam), and the cream was smooth and rich. Visually, I loved the look. I'd definitely would have this again, again and again! And I'll make sure that I wouldn't have to share!

My second favourite cake on the day was Francese - a flourless hazelnut sponge topped w milk choc mousse and salted caramel inside. It was chocolately, smooth and salty. Everything was so smooth in texture it was like eating ganache. Wonderful!

The lemon brulee tart was pretty good, but paled in comparison with the other two cakes. Nice custardy texture and a thin and crispy brulee crust on top. The pastry was buttery and was melt-in-your-mouth.

Deciding to go a bit overboard, we got a ham/olive/cheese and a vegetarian calzones to even out the sugar-load. Admittedly, I haven't had many calzones so I can't say if these were good. But to me, there were kinda 'meh'. The pastry was a bit bland and I expected there to be more ingredients on the inside.

Food – 8.5
Ambience – 7
Service – 5.5
Price – 8.5

Wow, I love the cakes. Superb in taste and you can tell that they use good ingredients in them. I'll take any excuse to go back again so I can have the Dolce Amore and try out a few more cakes. The savoury items were a bit average.

The biggest let down is the service and the way the whole place is set up. Get an ordering system in place, especially since it's so popular and crowded.

In terms of price, I was kinda surprised that the cakes were reasonably price given the quality ingredients, the complexities of the cakes and the serving size.

Level 3, Myer
Bourke St Mall
Melbourne 3000
Telephone: 9661 1380


Miss Sage Sugar said...

The cakes are delightful and so pretty!

Bureaucrat said...

And very tasty!

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