Round 2 for No.19 but this time it's time to warm up and enjoy what the winter menu has to offer! On a particularly gloomy Sunday arvo I was invited out to Ascot Vale to see if No.19 had still lived up to my high expectations or had fallen from my good graces. Let's see how it went!
Beautiful as expected with fabulous lighting and a bright modern feel. The staff were really friendly and attentive and I'm not just saying that because I was invited there - watching those around us and they were treated the same. It's a sign of a place that really does care about it's customers. On to the food though...
First up, the Breakfast Ramen (18 hour bone broth, noodles, pork belly, bokchoy, spring onion, marinated soft boiled egg) which was SO YUM. I couldn't fault it at all because the broth had so much depth to it from the 18 hours stewing and the pork was extremely crisp and fatty. Normally pork belly is quite thin in ramen but this was thick which I think I enjoyed a lot more! The noodles had some thickness on it which I like on my noodles - doughy and thick. Egg and bok choy were good sides to dial down the saltiness of the dish. Another great element was the theatrics of pouring the broth over the dish from a tea pot. It also kept all the elements crispy because it hadn't sat in the brother for too long. LOVE IT!
Oh wow...the Chocolate Brioche French Toast (housemade chocolate brioche, vanilla curd, dulce de leche, blueberries, poached pear, ferrero rocher ice cream) was mind blowing. All the flavours work together without being too rich which was surprising. I would recommend you to have a sweet tooth for the dulce de leche though, very sweet but you can avoid the hit of it as its mostly on the outside of the dish. The pear was a nice warm element as well that warmed up the belly and added a pop of freshness. The vanilla curd gave a vanilla kick to it which cut through the otherwise caramel flavours. The crunch of the tuille was fun but is normally flavourless but I was glad it also had a taste to it and was quite malty. One mouthful has the perfect textures and flavours to create a holistic flavour bomb. YUM!
Guys....get here before the end of winter. You DO NOT want to miss this menu and these winter specials - it is 100% worth the drive to Ascot Vale no matter whether you're coming from (even interstate!).
Presentation (5): 5
Taste (5): 5
Service (5): 5
Atmosphere (5): 5