Brunch at Ascot Food Store

                    There are only a handful of weekends are left until Mr A and I are off to gallivant all over the east coast of America. In an attempt to soak up as much Australia sun as we can before we are plunged into the second Winter of our 2014. It seems fortuitous that Melbourne is laying off the temperamental weather act on our free days, so we decided to make the journey to Ascot Food Store. It is larger than it appears from the outside; beyond the front of house, a few steps up lead to a segregated dining area with a homely and comfortable feel. To beat the breakfast crowds, we had woken up a little earlier given the distance as well so we were feeling a little bleary eyed. That was quickly rectified with some coffee orders; using Proud Mary coffee beans and St David’s Dairy milk, my iced latte provided a refreshing caffeine hit.

Iced latte ($3.80)

The warmer weather saw Debbie skipping her usual hot chocolate order for the mixed cold pressed juice. I had a taste and loved it – there was a lovely balance of acidity and sweetness from the combination of fruit and veggies with a lingering spice from the ginger.

Cold press juice – orange, carrot, ginger and pineapple ($6.50)

The benedict poached eggs had an abundance of shaved pork making for a very satisfying and substantial breakfast.

“Benedict” poached eggs, shaved pork belly and bearnaise ($17)

With corn fritters being dispensed from almost every cafe kitchen in Melbourne, it has become a run of the mill dish. The corn fritters remained light and fluffy inside with a touch of spice in the batter; a single poached egg, avocado puree and salsa to tie all the elements together.

Corn fritters, avocado, soft poached egg and snow pea tendrils ($17.50)

I tend to find that the best dishes are the simplest ones, and mine was enhanced with gourmet components. It epitomised some of my favourite things – the heady aroma of pickled truffle, shaved Grana cheese and the buttered brioche soldiers were intoxicating. To relish this dish in full, the brioche soldiers were rearranged on the additional plate provided, while the translucent slow cooked eggs were poured over the buttered crisp brioche, resulting in a delicious mess.

62 degree egg, chives, shaved grana, pickled truffle and brioche soldiers ($16.50)

While visually, the doughnuts scream for you to order them, and the flavour combinations work well enough together, they aren’t nearly enough to compensate for the doughiness and yeasty, sour flavour. Unfortunately, these were a let down but there were plenty of other baked sweet offerings available.

Dark chocolate with raspberry and lemon curd with pistachio doughnuts ($5 each)

Ascot Food Store offer a good variety of breakfast and lunch dishes and the coffees were excellent. The service is attentive despite the full house; although, the smaller portions come at a steeper price.

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