Popular Melbourne bakery Rustica is gearing up to bring its prized sourdough, maple-glazed crullers, and theatrical spaces to Sydney. Rustica’s first venue outside of Victoria – it has multiple bakeries down there, as well as pubs, a coffee roaster and a large-scale wholesale business – will open in Paddington in early 2024.
“It’ll be a replica of our flagship in South Yarra,” founder Brenton Lang tells Broadsheet. “It’s based on a large, open floor plan, and every area is on show through glass.”
Lang won’t reveal Rustica’s exact location just yet. But he is promising a spectacular, 500-square-metre venue, with seating for up to 120. The open plan will enable customers to watch the from-scratch baking in motion, from every angle.
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Rustica’s signature sourdough will be centrestage. It’s fermented for at least 40 hours, and made from premium flour, French butter and a 12-and-a-half-year-old mother. A more recent hit is the cruller, a French-style doughnut that’s light and airy on the inside, crispy on the outside, and glazed with maple. Then there’s the steady stream of twice-baked croissants, morning buns, danishes, tarts and cakes. Like at Rustica’s Melbourne counterparts, baking will happen 24 hours a day.
Rustica Paddington will also serve breakfast and lunch. A favourite brekkie making the trip from down south is the chilli scrambled eggs, infused with manchego, topped with spring onion, fried shallots, and pickled chillies, and served with a side of pumpkin sourdough. Another is the smoked mushrooms with poached eggs, buffalo mozzarella, pesto, hummus and dukkah, accompanied by a radish and herb salad, and olive and basil sourdough. Top of the lunch list is the king prawn and Moreton Bay bug linguini in a decadent chilli-garlic-tomato-white-wine sauce, and the open steak sanga.
“We’ll serve everything all day,” says Lang. “And, given the lunch scene in Sydney, we’ll probably have longer lunches towards the end of the week.”
In the spirit of long lunches, one way Rustica Paddington will differ from its Melbourne siblings is its booze offering. Alongside classic cocktails like Mimosas and Bellinis, and beers by Margaret River’s CB Co Brewing, there’ll be a premium, “sommelier-style” wine list that’s a more extensive version of what’s available in Rustica’s Melbourne venues.
Once Rustica is settled in Paddington, Lang will look to open a manufacturing site of around 1000 square metres, mainly to serve the wholesale market.
“The large-scale format, as opposed to smaller retail sites, has worked really well for us,” he says. “This is our first venture beyond Melbourne. We’ve been around long enough now that we’re ready to take the next step.”
Rustica will open in Paddington in early 2024.