Pasticceria Caruso is what appears to be run-of-the-mill cafe that sits in the middle of Stockland Wetherill Park Shopping Centre, I have walked past it a hundred times, it appears busy serving coffee and cakes to the weary shopper, it was with a small surprise I discovered that they were hosting a bloggers brunch on a Sunday and that I scored an invite from my organising friend, Asian Food Ninja. It just looked like a place that had pre-arranged deliveries of cakes, like a slightly better Michelle’s Patisserie, why would they be holding a meet and feast with the blogeratti?
It was with even more of a surprise that I discovered this place is much more than it appears. It has been open for a bit over two years and is the brainchild of Giuseppe Caruso, who dumped his corporate job and did what he was passionate about – RESPECT! He set up an amazing offsite bakery that bakes cakes to order and has become famous for their Cannoli Bazooka, the giant cannoli made from oodles of cannoli. It became an instagram sensation a month or so back when they hosted a bloggers hand’s-on at making the bazooka. I only got to experience the single cannoli and OMG, I would happily eat a fifty stack bazooka after that experience, diabetes be damned.
As for the retail venue in Stockland, they wanted to set up a place that serves all, it has all day breakfast, lunch, cafe snacks, cannoli of course and they even do burgers and seafood. It is a very large cafe menu and it didn’t disappoint.
Their coffees are amazing and they do some great swirling coffee art that compliments the swirls on the cannoli and other desserts, it sets a nice theme that is Italian influenced, not on my decaf mocha though if you are wondering why you can’t see it :). And further to that – no dissing the decaf, it is from years of abuse of full strength coffee that I can no longer partake in the hardcore bean.
I found the food exceptional and not what I would expect in a shopping centre, I preferred the sweets and breakfast food to the more savoury lunch meals however they were also enjoyable, I think it is more that once my body got hooked on the sugar I didn’t want anything else. Huge thanks to the venue, Giuseppe, Josie and Andrew (Asian Food Ninja) for what turned into one of the biggest table spreads I have ever seen, there was literally six of us for breakfast and people were stopping in the shopping centre to stare at the food on the table, it was incredible.
The first dish I ate at Pasticceria Caruso is a bit towards the top, it was a sensationally divine blueberry bagel served with ricotta and drizzled in honey and I was sad I had to share this with the rest of the crew, that bagel was the freshest I have eaten and that honey on that ricotta was my first foodgasm of the meal.
Following this was the French Toast with strawberries and maple syrup – I don’t even need to explain how good this was – JUST LOOK AT THAT PHOTO. Drooooooooool.
The Pasticceria Caruso big breakfast was truly huge, everything on it was perfectly cooked, but a personal gripe, if serving a runny egg I believe it really MUST be on toast to absorb the yolk when it pops. Another suggestion also, never hide the bacon under the sausage, when people order a big breakfast the number one item on that meal they want is bacon, they want to bathe in it, rub it into their skin and caress it like a lover. Oh, is that just me? Beautiful dish and the baked beans in the little bowl – genius!!
We then got into the Pasticceria Caruso lunch meals to sample and first off was a steak sandwich (not pictured) – it was well cooked and I would happily devour it. The beef burger I found quite average though, it is cooked well and I am always a fan of beetroot and onions on a burger but my suggested improvements would be an American cheese and to visit some of the best burger houses in Sydney and to get inspiration, having a burger on a menu needs to be more than having a burger on a menu now, it needs to be an artistic expression, something to make men swoon, ladies leap and burgerinos (like myself) bulge in burgerly delight.
That being said I bloody loved the chicken hack burger we made. The normal chicken burger has a fillet or you can get a chicken schnitzel dish, we requested a chicken schnitzel burger if they could hack it for us and they did and the thing was delicious. The added crunch from the crumbed schnitty made it and the greens, cheese and mayo (or maybe aioli) sauce was superb, I will eat this again when I am working in the area. I should mention we also had salt and pepper calamari (not pictured) and it was divine, I would never really order calamari from a cafe in the middle of a shopping centre at Wetherill Park but I recommend these ones, big, chunky, tender and delicious – the bowl was emptied.
And I savoured one of the best for last, the dish I requested for the feast, the most sugary of the dishes, the sexy assed triple stack pancakes with cream, ice-cream, (hidden under the ice-cream) berry compote, strawberries and maple syrup – my Zeus it was out of this world!! You can order smaller stacks but seriously I want a six stack!! I want to die by pancake and maple syrup. And to end the food…. the cannoli, just drool, so healthy for you, a must have for the culinary diet haha. LOVE THEM!!
Bravo to all at Pasticceria Caruso for a hidden gem in the middle of a shopping centre. They are trying for more than their appearance and location and it appears to be working for them, on the Sunday morning we attended it was packed with people waiting for a table. I love they cook everything onsite and that they make their own pastries offsite, it says passion in the product as opposed to just ordering product to fill a franchise shelf. If you’re in the area, give them a shot, I am pretty confident they will not disappoint on coffee, breakfast, brunch and anything they have baked.
Happy feasting, oh, and something I learned: a single cannoli is called a canollo and cannoli is the plural, something to remember, it appears us bogan Aussies will regularly come out with cannolies :).
Pasticceria Caruso Deets:
Shop 7, Stockland Mall, Polding Street, Wetherill Park, Sydney, NSW
Phone: (02 9604 1703)
Mon – Wed: 8am to 5pm
Thur: 8am to 9pm
Fri/Sat: 8am to 5pm
Sun: 8am to 4pm
*** JK (and any guests of Spooning Australia) were invited guests of the establishment, however, as always, if it was shite I would happily tell you as such.