Get ready for some major sweet dessert porn. The Italian Continental Bakery & Cafe in Mawson has been on my list of eateries to visit for years. I hear good things from work colleagues who make the short drive from the Woden town centre for a quick lunch, and other friends who’ve had some of the traditional Italian pastries. One morning, a bunch of us were about to hike up Mt Tennent and decided to all meet at the Italian Continental Bakery & Cafe beforehand to fill up on some goodies.

There’s indoor and outdoor seating with plenty of locals enjoying coffee and breakfast.

First of all – CRONUTS! There were 3 types that day – chocolate, vanilla and salted caramel. I could these were filled with cream or custard in the middle.

There’s a mouthwatering assortment of cannoli, Italian doughnuts, custard doughnuts, macarons and biscuits.

And lots of cream filled pastries such as eclairs and bigne that caught my eye.

I didn’t want to be too full hiking up and I had already eaten breakfast, so I purchased a cannoli (around the $3 mark). The pastry is soft, fresh and lightly rolled in sugar. I gobbled this up quickly and was wondering whether I should go grab a cronut to have later. I decided against it since it would just get squished in my backpack. But made a note to go back in the near future.

So on another Saturday morning a couple of weeks later, I headed back to try out the breakfast menu and grab a few more pastries 🙂 At 10.15am, I was disappointed to find that the cronuts had all sold out. I’ll have to get there earlier next time. A sign at the front counter was advertising a Nutella hot chocolate ($5.50) so I couldn’t pass that up. This was sweet, not too thick and tasted very much of Nutella! I loved it.

The breakfast menu is available between 8am-11am and both vegetarian and gluten-free options are available.

My friend D and I both chose the French toast with fresh banana, strawberries, maple syrup and cinnamon sugar ($13.90). I found the French toast to be a little dry and dense but I did like the crunchy outside, the fresh fruit and conservative amount of maple syrup drizzled on top.

D had the jam doughnut which is bigger than my first.

He really enjoyed it – look at the beautiful colour of the jam!

I ordered a few pastries to take away too.

The fat Italian doughnut ($2.20) was a must try – I love the dark golden brown colour.

Slightly disappointed as it was a little dry for my liking however it had fantastic flavour.

Now to try some of the custard filled pastries. I have memories of tasting delicious bigne with my family in Italy so I chose the chocolate bigne ($3.30) to try. Great choux pastry and this is filled with a large amount of smooth creamy custard. What I like about the custard is that it’s not rich at all. It’s actually quite light. You think you won’t finish it all, but then you do (feeling slightly guilty).

Clockwise from left: Sicilian cannoli, Via Lattea, and chocolate bigne

The Via Lattea ($4.50), also known as the Milky way, consists of two bigne – one filled with chocolate custard and the other filled with vanilla custard with a dollop of dark chocolate on top. Again, great choux pastry and light creamy custard.

The Sicilian cannoli (I think around $3.50) had both chocolate and vanilla custard piped into each end. The cannoli pastry really impressed me – crispy, flakey and exactly the way a cannoli should be. I could tell it was made fresh. The same light and creamy custard is used in the other pastries above. Yum!

So there you have what was my sugar high a few weekends ago. Apart from sweets, the Italian Continental Bakery & Cafe do a pretty good lunch as well with fresh focaccias and sandwiches (they bake fresh breads on site), pastas, risotto, good ol chicken parma and more. Prices are reasonable with the most expensive item on the lunch menu priced at $19.90.

I found service is quick and efficient. Order up at the counter (there are two people on the registers during peak periods) and a table number is provided if you’re dining in. It took about 5-10 minutes for our drinks to arrive and another 5-10mins for our meals. At one point that Saturday morning, there was a queue right to the front door. A very popular spot for the locals.

Definitely worth a visit. You won’t be able to walk past those pastries! I need to go back for that cronut.

Open Tuesday to Sunday at the Mawson shops (between the Woolies petrol station and 7/11 station). Check out its Facebook page too.

Foodgasm 7.5/10

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