Self Raised Bread Shoppe

Jackie McMillan
23rd Sep 2023

The suburbs can surprise you. Carlton isn’t particularly known for its eateries, but Self Raised Bread Shoppe is attracting people from far and wide. This bakery-cafe is the brainchild of Sal Sanan and siblings, Amani and Hussein Rachid. If you’re used to hunting down suburban gems, you might know this trio from Bexley North’s New York-style pizzeria,My Mother’s Cousin. They were also the originators of Rockdale’s cult Lebanese bakery cafe, Nineteen43

Under a retro awning, on a formerly quiet strip mall, you’ll see people perched on white outdoor benches and a queue. It doesn’t take long to get inside the space lined with dark wood panelling and a chequerboard floor. While pastries, from the hands of Sarah Ghantous (ex-Flour and Stone) are the drawcard for some, most are here for the thick lunchtime sangas. Halal hoagies ($19) made using turkey ham, beef mortadella and beef salami are popular with the crowd, though we opt for the smoked beef ($18), jam-packed with smoked meat offset by pickles, cheese, mustard and their special oozing sauce. Lemon juice ($6) helps to cut through the richness. 

If your appetite is smaller, the sesame-studded lunch focaccia ($12) in mushroom with multiple types of cheese is a standout. I was also impressed with a traditional tricolour focaccia ($12) boasting roasted tomatoes, scattered basil leaves and creamy, white cheese. Sourdough is also sold separately. It’s styled around being great for sandwiches, so it lacks the bubbles and lightness I seek out at bakeries like Balmain’s Penny Fours or Goose Bakery in Forest Lodge.