Ascot Food Store, Moonee Ponds, Melbourne
I love catching up with my friend E. She’s a no-bullshit, tell-it-like-it-is, hysterically funny, absolutely gorgeous, loyal to a fault kind of girl. She’s my best friend and one of the only people I’m always in the mood to hang out with. When she suggested a lunch date at the Ascot Food Store yesterday, I was pretty stoked. See, she works in the hospitality industry, and knows all the good places to eat at. I trust this lady. Off we went.
A gorgeous little house-turned-eatery, the Ascot Food Store is open daily for delicious breakfast, brunch, lunch, and sweet options. Headed by David Stewart (top notch bloke, formerly of Tender Trap), it’s managed to garner a reputation pretty quickly for amazing food, beautiful presentation and super friendly staff; now that I’ve finally managed to get there, I can tell you, believe the hype!
We both ordered the pork belly with fried egg, green mango salsa and peanut praline , which was as incredible as it sounds and looks. Tender pork, fresh salsa, crispy praline, creamy egg – it was all utterly perfect.
Then, because we’re damn pigs and can’t help ourselves, we also decided to try the brioche with spiced raspberries, strawberries, toasted macadamias, Pedro Ximinez syrup and creme fraiche. This was just wow. The brioche was the size of a house brick, unbelievable soft and melt-in-your-mouth. The berry/macadamia/creme fraiche combo was perfect. Don’t think there’s really much else that needs to be said – it was one of the best brunch dishes I’ve had in recent memory, to be perfectly honest, I could not fault it.
And not only does the food here taste incredible, as you can see, it looks stunning! Everything is presented deliberately and delicately, every element looking as though it was purposely and thoughtfully set in its place. There was also the option of indoor or outdoor seating, a fantastic beverage menu (heaps of tea options, which made me, a non-coffee drinker very happy), and brilliant, happy, quick service! I can see why this place is being touted as the new place to be, and I already can’t wait to head back again. Huge thanks to David and the lovely team there for making it such a great lunch!