The smell hits you as soon as you walk in – pungent, intense, nutty all in one hit. Our friends are seated at the communal table down the back but we can’t help lingering by the display windows filled with copious and seemingly never-ending wheels and wedges of cheese hailing from all over the world. Mmm… cheese.
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.
Melbourne is consistently on point with food trends – instagram-worthy food like fluffy hotcakes accessorised with a colourful array of edible flowers and fresh fruit; frozen yoghurt dispensaries popping up on every corner, both north and south of the river; cold pressed juices and healthy smoothies served in mason jars; and the latest one to start making an appearance on menus – things made with food-grade edible charcoal. Charcoal food products are becoming more mainstream – what, with charcoal brioche buns encasing meat patties, ice creams scooped into charcoal waffle cones; and now, after supplying select cafes for a short while earlier this year, Nora has opened shop in Carlton with a range of their signature charcoal tarts.