Union Food and Wine, on Union Street in Ascot Vale, opened recently and one morning Alastair and I were free and decided to visit for breakfast. After we had been seated for a few minutes, I realised that we had been there before. It had been a bistro or restaurant that was obviously forgettable, however I did recognise the room since the skeleton had been kept and just spruced up. It was a good space with the corner location, large windows, and the bright airiness, and it remains so.
I had my eye on two items on the short but interesting breakfast menu – gingerbread hotcakes and the corned beef and leek toastie. It didn’t take much convincing to talk Alastair into ordering the hotcakes so I could order the toastie.
My corned beef and leek toastie ($12) contained hot English mustard inside and more mustard on the side (which I didn’t use). It was nicely toasted: not too crunchy, not too dry – just right – with plenty of butter and corned beef. All up it was very satisfying.
Alastair’s gingerbread hotcakes were served with poached quince and whipped ricotta ($11), and judging from the bite(s) that I stole, were very nice and very fragrant.
We actually returned for dinner the following night with friends Maz and Daz.
Alastair started with one of the specials available – BBQ octopus with pickled fennel and fennel skordalia ($14). The octopus was delicious – tender and very smokey.
While I had the caramelised onion tart with onion purée, goats cheese, rocket and vincotto ($14). The little tart was very sweet and sticky – so yum.
For mains, Alastair ordered the barramundi with brioche, mushroom puree, and black cabbage ($29). The barramundi came with a layer of brioche crumbs on top and it looked pretty good.
And I had the baked gnocchi with silverbeet, taleggio and winter truffle ($27.50). It was so yum – very cheesy, very rich. It’s officially spring, but it was quite cold that night and it was the perfect dish for the weather. It wasn’t a large serve but, due to the richness, it was a good portion.
To end the night we shared a dessert on the specials board – chocolate mousse with poached pear, yoghurt and salted caramel ($12). Rather than a regular chocolate mousse, the bowl held a small amount of mousse in the bottom, pieces of airy sponge, a drizzle of salted caramel and shards of a chocolate biscuit type thing.
As we left, Alastair did mention to me that he could’ve eaten more, so heads up if you’re a big eater. They could probably do with the addition of some sides to their menu. Personally though I was satisfied and enjoyed the food there.
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Union Food & Wine
169 Union Road
Phone: 03 9372 7566