Brunching at Ascot Food Store will see syringes served in your dough and shakes sweetened by the syrupy delights of an ex-pharmacist — and these palate-pleasing scientists are dishing up some seriously good fare.
Physically, there is an actual lack of gold — or scientists, for that matter — but retro orange does adorn the interior of this former 1960s Moonee Ponds abode, where beakers serve as water bottles and test tubes stand to dispense your granules of salt and pepper. None of these adornments draw focus from the food, but rather serve as a subtle salute to the chefs who have experimented with infusions until they have formulated the perfect taste explosions.
The 62-degree eggs ($17.50) come with pickled truffles and shaved Grana, and staff encourage your to get involved and tip your eggs over the brioche soldiers and sprinkle with the excess flakes; it's a dish that's possibly the closest thing to eating a snowy winter. Cheese addicts can reach their minimum daily intake with the hung ricotta gnudi, served with grilled haloumi, fresh pea and honey ($17). The Ascot Fried Chicken (or, AFC) is a spicy delight and comes boxed with potato and gravy, a brioche bun and slaw ($16).
Milkshakes are a synthesis of hand-bottled milk from Fitzroy's Saint David Dairy with a syrupy squeeze from Giffard, the brand started by one inquisitive Frenchman who, in the 1880s, decided to move his pharmaceutical know-how into distilling liqueurs and then syrups. Try the salted caramel or strawberry mascarpone shake (both $6.50).
Coffee is by St Ali and includes a rotating single origin filter or an eight-hour cold drip option (both $4.50). Storm in a Teacup are supplying leaf enthusiasts blends like the Bushfire Breakfast ($3.50), which combines the soft smoke of orange pekoe with the citrusy eucalypt of lemon myrtle. A rotating choice of house-made syringe-stabbed donuts ($4) means you can pipe your own jams or creams in to your deep fried dough balls. Or better yet, take one for the bus that stops right out the front and head to Footscray for a few hours to walk off your intake.
Sure, the locals may have known about it for a while, but the Ascot Food Store has plenty to teach and feed us – making it a chemistry lesson worth paying attention to.