Brunetti is a Melbourne institution. For more than 40 years, part of inner Melbourne life has been to meet friends over coffee and cake at Brunetti’s Carlton café – now in Lygon Street but for many years operating in Faraday Street. There are even two Brunettis at Melbourne Airport.
In late 2017, Brunetti opened a huge flagship café in Flinders Lane. It stretches way, way back over what seems like hundreds of metres, passing counters offering luscious-looking cakes, paninis, pizza, a large kitchen with chefs whipping up plates of food, a deli with huge legs of prosciutto and cheeses and a spritz bar. Espresso machines, obviously. And of course, a gelateria.
The gelati counter is near the Flinders Lane entrance. Around 20 flavours of gelati are stored in lidded pozzetti with the day’s flavours listed on the wall behind. It’s all made at the Brunetti factory in Brunswick, and shipped out to the Brunetti cafés each day.
Our friendly server clearly knows how to wield a gelato paddle. Good gelato stored at the right temperature has a wonderful elastic texture, which – in the hands of an expert armed with a paddle, definitely not a scoop – is worked to produce a generous serving and finished off on a cone or in a cup with a few twirls and swirls of the paddle.
Benny’s choice: tiramisu, paired with a classic pistachio. I had amarena (sour cherry) gelato with bacio.
It’s good gelati, with perfect texture, as you would expect given the Brunetti pedigree. However the flavours didn’t quite match our very high expectations. We felt they lacked the intensity of truly great gelati. My amarena was a little disappointing, as it was missing the anticipated sour cherry tang, having only a very modest slick of amarena cherries. We also sampled the walnut & fig gelato, which was fine, but again the flavour was quite restrained.
Our verdict – good gelati, but we expected even better from Brunetti.
Brunetti is a Melbourne institution, being a go-to place for coffee and cake, which makes the huge Flinders Lane flagship café a popular spot.
Brunetti Flinders Lane
250 Flinders Lane
Melbourne Vic 3000
T: (03) 9347 2801