320 Ascot Vale Road, Moonee Ponds. Phone: 9370 2649
For many years, these Ascot Vale Road premises housed a corner store that was a bit of a secret – it stocked products and groceries of the South American/Latin American variety, including Jamon.
Alas that opportunity for CTS story has now gone, and in the store’s place is lovely cafe.
Ascot Food Store appears to be ideally place midway between the Puckle Street area and the eats region of upper Mount Alexander Road.
There’s heaps of residential blocks around here and I bet there’s plenty of locals who really, really loving having this new place so handy.
I could be the world-weary scribe and say Ascot Food Store is just like so many cafes all over the place, including the west.
But that would be silly of me.
And it would be to deny the expertise and good cheer of the staff, the white-centric fit-out that confers a relaxed, tranquil vibe on the front room and two further inside, and the quality of the food.
It’s a very breakfast/lunch place, and – based on our meals (see menu below) – I’d describe the serves as light eating.
A hungry table of two who throw in a couple of sides and coffees will find themselves paying between $25 to $30 per person – the going rate these days for this kind of food in this kind of place.
And no complaints from us.
My companion – Karma of alergicinmelbourne – likes her “Benedict” ($17) of poached eggs on top of an English muffin and shaved pork belly, all topped with bearnaise.
As far as I can tell, in this case anyway, “shaved pork belly” = “crackling” by any other name, so I can’t help but admire the sheer artery-clogging chutzpah of it.
My “Apple Wood Smoked Ocean Trout, Freekeh, Roasted Caluliflower, Coriander, Cress, Shredded Kale” ($18) is fine, too.
The fish is a nicely hefty slab and beautifully cooked, though there is precious little smoky flavour.
The freekeh and cauliflower are indistinguishable, but the fish’s base is nicely most.
With the kale and salad bits, it all makes for a lovely, light lunch.
My cafe latte is very good.
Check out Karma’s take on our lunch here.