The newly opened Cannoli Bar is hidden in the north-western suburb of Avondale Heights on Riviera Road. The connoli here is so good here, it will make you shout, ‘holy cannoli!’. This café replaced an old, local milk bar, hence the name Cannoli ‘bar’.
The friendly owner, Carlo Mellini, was born in Rome and has now lived in Australia for 18 years.
“My great grandfather, my grandfather and my dad are pastry chefs, except for me but Iv’e always been in the industry. I started off working as a building designer and then my passion shone through. Being in the house with chefs made me want to do something of my own. This is the build up of my culture and that’s sort of how Cannoli Bar started,” he said.
“My family is from Catania, Sicily, which is not where cannoli is originally from but it’s a very big city in terms of the food culture. My culture comes from there and we do the shell from the family recipe, that’s our point of difference”.
Carlo explained why he decided to specialise in cannoli, rather than sell multiple treats.
“Initially I just wanted to do a regular café but I said to myself that the concept of just one product hasn’t been done in Melbourne, in terms of cannoli. Everyone had cannoli’s, but to do 18 or 20 different flavors, I just played around doing something like that”.
“Some businesses have a lot of things and some decide to find their niche, personally we can do everything in terms of pastry but it was more fun for us to celebrate one item”.
As well as the classic flavours, Cannoli Bar boasts individual masterpieces including tiramisu, oreo, ferrero rocher, bounty, lemon meringue and more!
The cannoli is freshly filled on the spot once a customer has ordered, to avoid the cannoli from getting soggy.
The Cannoli Bar has perfect reviews at 4.9 out of 5 on Facebook. That point one difference was solved with replacement cannoli!
Carlo said the secret to his success is doing things the artisan way.
“We haven’t recreated the wheel but what we’ve done is bring it back to basics. Quality in product and a big smile on your face is part of your success”.
“I’ve been loving it, it’s changed my life. It’s a real great place to celebrate your families’ traditions. When you’re doing something you love and it doesn’t feel like your’e at work, that’s when you know you’re in the right industry”.
This recently opened café is inspired by the legendary Hugh Jackman, with dishes like the Wolverine churros.
Head chef, Jay, said, “We’re three cousins, Jack, Mann and myself.”
“We used to go to festivals across Melbourne to sell our churros, we did that for about 10 years,” he said.
“Mann has experience making coffees over the last 10 years and I’ve worked in the kitchen the past seven years. We worked together in a café for four years and then we designed this place and renovated in a month and a half, and here we are now kicking back”.
The café is located at Pinewood Shopping Village.
Some honourable mentions include:
Shanklin is so good it’s a sin!
This new café is managed by two friends with extensive experience in the hospitality industry. It recently won the highest rating on Zomato for a café in Victoria.
It’s easy to get obsessed with this place and difficult to resist the urge to go back. This café has everything you could need from vegan and vegetarian options to outdoor seating to free Wifi.
Aboudy Yaacoub, co-director at Shanklin said “Where I come from it’s very multicultural, there’s a lot of nice spices and fresh ingredients we use. We thought we could put all this together to come up with something fresh and new to Melbourne”.
The speciality dish at Shanklin is the ‘eggs and shanklish’ scrambled eggs, with the nutella pancakes as a recommended dish.
Shanklin can be found in Hawthorn at 500 Tooronga Road.
If you’re a Melbourne foodie, you probably already know about Bentwood, Penta, Legacy and now Clubhouse.
The next addition from the founder of these gems, Julian Moussi, is now taking on the eastern suburbs with Stanley.
Stanley is a café that specialises in your brunch favourites including smashed avocado for the healthy and hotcakes for the sweet tooth’s. Although the food is delicious, it isn’t anything different to Moussi’s previous businesses, which isn’t surprising seeing how successful they are.
Much like Cannoli Bar, Stanley also replaced a renovated milk bar, creating a cosy and chic feeling. It can be fittingly found at 63 Stanley avenue, Mount Waverley.
Only Mine Chocolate Factory chocolates are hand crafted on site in Olinda, where you can watch the chocolates that come in all sorts of unique flavours being made. People with dietary requirements can rejoice at the sight of their vegan and gluten free range. The factory has a website where people can buy the chocolates and have them shipped anywhere in Australia.
Only Mine can be found at 1/540 Mount Dandenong Tourist road, Olinda.