Friday, 12 September 2014

Brunch Art {Ascot Food Store Review}

I once did a course on Food Presentation. When I enrolled I thought I was going to learn how to make cakes look nice, I should have read the fine print, it was on food styling- I spent four weeks learning how to paint a raw chicken so it looks golden and roasted, and the best way to sprinkle coconut. I have never needed those chicken skills again and I like a natural approach to my coconut sprinkling (read as: I give myself about 2 minutes for food shots before I hoover it down- style queen I ain't). However, my lack of skill makes me appreciate those with the gift even more, so when I noticed plates arranged like artworks slipping into my newsfeed, there was no question I would be trying Ascot Food Store sooner rather than later.

I had read reviews on Urbanspoon about their excellent service and my experience was no exception. I showed up about 11am on a Monday and asked very awkwardly for a table for one (I never dine alone but it is something I would like to embrace). The waitress enquired if would I like somewhere a little quieter where I could chill out, and took me through to the cute, smaller back room. This was the first big tick for me, the previous house, turned Spanish deli, turned cafe has multiple dining areas which allows you a choice between large public area (and people-watching fodder) or somewhere you can tuck up and read a book, or, let's face it, Instagram your little heart out.
ascot food store back room

The drinks menu is impressive with coffee by Proud Mary, a range of teas by Storm in a Tea cup and a number of other locally sourced soft drink options with pressed juices to join the fun soon. I went with a chai tea by Calmer Sutra (puntastic!) which was possibly the best cup of tea I have ever had. I am quite picky with tea, usually preferring coffee, but I had had a fairly stressful morning and needed to unwind rather than buzz. Perfectly steeped, deliciously spicy and do I need to mention the presentation?
calmer sutra chai tea

ascot food store menu ascot vale brunch

The food menu reads very much like an art gallery catalogue, naming the components that go into each artwork. I pretty much closed my eyes and pointed; resulting in 62 deg egg, Chives, Shaved Grana, Pickled Truffle, Brioche Soldiers.
62 degree egg brioche truffle grana

eggs and soldiers ascot food store

As I soaked up my runny eggs with chunks of buttery pillowy brioche and licked up dollops of the earthy, tangy truffle paste, the lunch crowd began to arrive (yes, there was a crowd, on a Monday no less). A nearby table offered some excellent eavesdropping fodder as an elderly gent perused the menu. "What on earth is a 62 degree egg? Water boils at 100 degrees" drifted across the room, followed by "This must be a vegetarian place. Is it vegetarian? Oh, no, they have prawns" "Kaiserflesh? What kind of animal is that? Or is it a vegetable?" He eventually worked out he could have bacon and eggs and was very happy with that.


To extend my experience I enquired about sweets. The waitress replied they had muffins or their signature doughnuts- today's were served with either a syringe of raspberry jell or creme patisserie with pistachio- lock it in Eddy.
donut creme patisserie syringe

As my doughnut made its way to the table there was more head-turning than a peak hour pile-up. I could have used this moment in the spotlight to bask in the radiant glow but I think I actually leaned towards grinning like a sugar-starved child with bug-eyed enthusiasm (there may have been some light drooling), only pausing long enough to take a few requisite snaps.

food porn donut custard ascot vale cafe brunch

Now, this may shock you but generally I am not that into doughnuts. Deep fried cake just isn't worth the calories for me, particularly when under or over-cooked as is so often the case. This, my friends, was an exception. After I had recovered from the delight of squeezing my creme patisserie into the doughnut, a prod with my knife revealed a well-sugared super-crunchy crust with a fluffy, moist cakey centre and lashings of oozy silky custard that I had just discharged (that word should never be used in a food blog and I apologise, but I'm going to leave it there anyway). It was completely worth every last calorie as I licked the crusty sugar from my fingers (and the doughnut wasn't too sweet, I'm not sure how they managed that... alchemy?).

I paired it with a perfect iced latte; strong, nutty and with enough bitterness and acidity to balance my indulgence.

This place is exceptional. Get your toosh in there, but be prepared for a wait on weekends, Ascot Vale is about to become fashionable :)

Ascot Food Store on Urbanspoon


  1. Great review! So going to try it out :)

  2. It's in Moonee Ponds

  3. Oh my gosh I have drooled my way through this review! The food looks and sounds amazing! It's too bad I'm on the other side of world :( I love going for meals alone... I really get to apprecite the food and enjoy being in my own little bubble! x

  4. This place is just down the road from me and I have been a few times now (the corn fritters are my favourite) - but still haven't had the donut! Your review is the tipping point so I might just have to walk down today and get one...or two...

  5. Ummmm....... that eggy brioch soldier thing looks SO GOOD. I need to go.. and maybe score a donut or three also. Thank you SO MUCH for today. Bec x


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