In October, Alastair and I will have been living in our place for ten years.
When we first moved in, the cafe scene around this area wasn’t particularly amazing (though to be fair, I can barely remember what I did before Xmas, so maybe it’s just my memory playing tricks on me) however that’s changed in the past few years with some great cafes opening up.
Despite this, we seem to keep going back to the same places rather than seeking out new ones. I do try and push us out of our rut every now and again, and just before Xmas this meant we ended up having breakfast at Ascot Food Store.
Located in Moonee Ponds, Ascot Food Store opened about six months ago, and apparently used to be a deli and residence. They were fairly busy when we arrived and there were no seats left inside. However it was such a nice day that we were happy to sit at one of the benches outside.
After perusing the menu, I decided on this stunner: a fried duck egg with shiitake mushrooms, parsley butter and shaved pecorino on toasted brioche ($18).
Uncovering the egg revealed the mushrooms – look at those slices of beauty. I always lament that I can’t cook mushrooms as well as cafes/restaurants, and these were proof of that yet again.
Also, the brioche? Fantastic. It was one big thick slab, crisp around the edges, and rich and buttery.
But if my dish was good – look at Alastair’s choice. He ordered the 62° eggs, which came sitting pretty in their shells.
The eggs (and rest of the board) were covered with a generous shaving of Grana, and served with pickled truffle and brioche soldiers ($16.50). The eggs had been cooked slowly at 62°, resulting in silky whites and yolks with a custard-like consistency.
This is a pretty great dish. The pickled truffle and cheese gave some additional flavour to the eggs, and the whole thing was presented in a fun and attractive way.
I remembered our visit so fondly that we returned last weekend for breakfast.
This time, because we were rather early, we managed to get a seat inside, in one of the back rooms.
Alastair ordered the corn fritters, which came with avocado puree, tomato jam, a soft poached egg and snow pea tendrils ($17.50).
There were four of the fritters on the plate and while they weren’t visually attractive, they were fluffy and tasted really good.
My choice was the “Benedict”: poached eggs, shaved pork belly and bearnaise on English muffins ($17) – a take on the more traditional eggs benedict.
I’m not a big fan of eggs benedict because I don’t like the thought (and taste) of ham, egg yolk and hollandaise sauce together. I know it’s odd, because pork belly is just different enough from ham to not trigger my dislike.
Anyway, back to the Benedict. I liked it, particularly the pork belly which had been crisped up a little. It was very rich though and kept me full until dinner time.
I enjoyed our breakfasts at Ascot food Store and I can see it being added to our list of regular haunts. Next time though I want to go for lunch – some of their lunch dishes sound particularly good.
Ascot Food Store
320 Ascot Vale Road
Moonee Ponds VIC 3039
Phone: 03 9370 2649