10 October, 2008

Sette Bello

Cnr Hardware Lane and Lt Bourke St, Melbourne; 03 9670 7070 Now closed

I wasn't as quick off the mark with Sette Bello as with Baba: a couple of other bloggers have had their pastries in a twist since the city cafe opened in May this year. In the depth of winter, I recommended Bello on the strength of those reviews to a friend from 'oop north', who was in need of a restorative Melbourne breakfast after landing on the early (and I mean early) flight from Newcastle. Mid-morning I received an enthused text raving over a nourishing bowl of porridge and their signature breakfast pizza.

Many of their breakfast items are on display: cheese and egg tarts, focaccias and the aforementioned pizza - an ample circle of dough topped with greens and a poached egg (surely a winning hangover cure!). From the menu, sweeter breakfast options include toasted brioche with warmed ricotta and honey.

I was after something a bit heftier, a wish amply fulfilled by the funghi al bosco: field mushrooms with rosemary and taleggio on focaccia. The plate arrived with a chuckle from the barista: 'Your breakfast, ma'am, and perhaps you won't need to eat again til dinner!' Ha! I thought - it's just vegetables and bread...but then again mushrooms are always best at breakfast when they've soaked up their own weight in butter, and the talleggio did contribute more than a drop of oil to the plate. Happily the rocket provided some crunch and peppery bite to cut through the oil. The herbed focaccia was wonderfully pliant, but didn't end up soggy under the influence of all that oil from its toppings.

Alongside the mushroom-focaccia mountain was a fine cafe latte: a sweeter blend of coffee that only required a little bit of sugar for the spot-on bittersweet kickstart.

Sette Bello also offers a range of pastries that would daunt most so early in the morning! Enormous cannolis, chocolate eclairs, giant profiteroles, bombolinis. (Claire's post has some piccies.) They could easily get in the way of lunch options, such as pizza or soup of the day, on a later visit.

Open Monday to Saturday, Sette Bello provides a welcome alternative to some of its neighbours on Hardware Lane: where they spruik for custom, Sette Bello is so laidback and happy to let its produce do the talking, that it doesn't even have external signage.


  1. Glad you enjoyed it Fi. I just love the fit out of the place - very designer retro cool. But the breads and pastries are all rather special.

    I must go back. I haven't been in ages!

  2. It's a really comfortable space to be in. It's only small, but all that natural light and the clever separation of the serving and eating areas, via a step and the wooden grille, is really effective. I'm keen to get back for afternoon coffee and cake!

  3. the make the best pizzas ,iIv'e ever had here in australia

  4. Settebello not only opens Monday to Saturday for breakfast and lunch, they do dinners from Thursday to Saturday as well, serving tapas, gourmet pizzas and desserts which include choc pizza! Fabulous food you can get there! I was there the other day and they have $5 beers on Thursday to Saturday to go with the tapas, you guys should go and try it, the place is just getting better!

  5. Thanks for the info! Good to know it's there as an after-work option later in the week. I'm dreaming of their pastries now ;)