It’s been a St. Kilda institution turning out breads and brekkies for sometime, but big things are afoot for Acland Street’s il Fornaio, thanks to new owner Salvatore Malatesta of St. Ali.

The rumour mill has been proven right, with acclaimed dessert and pastry chef Philippa Sibley (ex- Bistro Guillaume) taking to the ovens as of next month, with a dessert bar following mid-way through June. There are plans underway to revamp the kitchen, “We’re using the current bread oven as storage at the moment” says Executive Chef Sibley. There’s also a bit of a ‘girlied-up’ look for the dining space on the cards. There’s the promise of a menu shake up as well that will see the fridges stocked with ‘French and Italian inspired’ rustic tureens and take-away cheese packs for picnics, as well as Sibley’s iconic dishes and desserts gracing the menu in-house. We hear house-smoked salmon and house-made ice-creams are imminent and with the success of her ‘snickers’ Caramel Parfait Glacé dessert on Tuesday nights MasterChef celebrity-chef challenge, we’ll be keeping an eye out for those tasty little suckers too.

The coffee is un-surprisingly St. Ali, with a selection of Chamellia Teas and breads from Noisette, but the focus is set to be on the Sibley’s creations, both savoury and sweet.

While the Pastry Queen is not officially in the house until June 1st- we can’t say we haven’t seen her lurking around and getting things ship-shape.

il Fornaio
2 Acland Street, St Kilda