Il Fornaio

2 Acland St, St Kilda VIC 3182

December 2015



As I’ve said before, in all areas of my life I fluctuate regularly between “crazily curious adventurer” and “painfully predictable creature of habit”. My brunch habit is certainly no exception and I am either obsessively ticking off every new place that has opened in Melbourne within 24 hours of the doors opening (which you will all know is no mean feat in this revolving door of a hospitality scene) or going back over and over to the same places where the staff all know me (slash can’t get rid of me) and don’t need to ask for my order when I sit down.

Il Fornaio brunchery and panetteria in St Kilda is one of my longest-running stomping grounds, guaranteeing a consistently delightful breakfast or brunch experience served by wonderful people in a beautiful location. Nestled at “the other end of Acland Street” just by The Prince of Wales hotel, Il Fornaio is an absolute Melbourne treasure and its delectable food, warm and attentive service and that endlessly attractive St Kilda vibe have kept me coming back for years and years.


The menu is underpinned by principles of sustainability, local sourcing, high quality produce, and making many things (like their bread and cheese) fresh and in-house where possible which manifest strongly in each and every dish. A stand out feature  has always been how progressive and innovative the options are and how adaptable it is to all kinds of dietary requirements and food preferences. With options from outrageously indulgent burgers through to clean and lean breakfast salads, there really is something for everyone to enjoy. It was one of the first places ever to serve the now ubiquitous quinoa and continues to blaze a trail particularly in the healthy food space i.e. it was our very first Matcha Maiden stockist solidifying our great love for the place.


I may seem biased, but my Il Fornaio habit predates the matcha mission by more than a few years. Lately, however, I had been visiting less as the menu became perhaps a little too familiar. I was therefore saaaaa excited when the new Summer menu finally landed for us to face plant into at a tasting session this week. After about 9 courses, 55,729 photos, 3 smoothies, a coconut and everything in between, I can safely say the new menu positively knocked our socks off! While we are, of course, biased towards the Mix N Matcha creations (which were unbelievably delicious and crazily photogenic), the whole menu is fresh, innovative, impeccably presented and beyond delicious.


Here’s a run down of the dishes we tasted (but you should probably just get your backside down there asap to experience it for yourself!):

  • The avo cuddle: toast of choice, lemon avocado, snowpea tendrils, radish, pickled shimeji mushrooms, crunch, chimmi churri (optional egg or bacon)
  • Love you from my head tomatoes: olive toast, heirloom tomatoes, baby basil, organic avocado and ricotta mousse, dehydrated Mt Zero olives, puffed grains, dill, poached egg (optional egg or bacon)
  • This is how we lobster roll: hot buttered brioche bun, W.A. lobster, rocket, artichoke chips, scrambled eggs, avruga caviar, leek
  • Harry Styles’ summer bircher: organic oat bircher, berry basil glaze, summer berries, pistachio, hydrated chia seeds
  • Halle’s Berry’s: summer stone fruit and dark berry fruit salad, st ali coffee and hazelnut crumble, house buffalo yoghurt
  • Mix N Matcha: protein granola, chamomile yoghurt rolled in matcha, summer fruits, strawberry chia, lavendar honey (pictured below)


We also had some epic smoothies:

  • Olympia Valance: coconut water, spirulina, matcha, dates, psyllium husk, coconut oil nectar, LSA, protein and avocado
  • Travis Burns: almond milk, dragon fruit, mango, banana, passionfruit
  • Josh Gibson: coconut milk, raw cacao, LSA, coconut, psyllium husk, chia seeds, raw honey and banana

And with a nutella thick shake, the “middle aged man in lycra” the “Ari Gold beef burger” and many other options, how could you not stop in and visit!? I’m always up for a brekky date, so would be more than happy to join!



Follow Il Fornaio: @ilfornaio1

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