BRAINS TRUST

Scott Pick­ett’s lat­est ven­ture puts a new spin on the hum­ble deli with ex­cel­lent food, tempt­ing drinks and gourmet gro­ceries

Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar - - On Sunday -

PICK­ETT’S DELI & RO­TIS­SERIE: RE­VIEWED BY DAN STOCK

THE only thing you re­ally need to know about Scott Pick­ett’s new deli, nes­tled on the cor­ner of the Queen Victoria Mar­ket, is that there are brains on the menu.

Sure, there’s pretty ex­cel­lent ro­tis­serie chicken that’s vy­ing for your at­ten­tion. Oh, and a bril­liant prawn bolog­nese that snug­gles against pil­lows of gnoc­chi in a bowl of umamis­toked dreams. And great oys­ters to slurp, el­e­gant char­cu­terie to snack on, and big fat Oritz sar­dines on toast.

But it’s those brains that pay such clever homage to the mar­ket lo­cale, all glo­ri­ously crumbed, creamy nuggets of nose-to-tail good­ness. For a mar­ket is no place for the squea­mish, af­ter all.

The menu’s charms, how­ever, wel­come all with open arms. Drop by for thick-cut ba­con rolls slathered in HP for break­fast, duck in for a quar­ter chook with a few roast veg for lunch, or set­tle back with a bot­tle and some cured meats long af­ter dark.

The food is fan­tas­tic. A dish of toasted bread fin­gers draped with lardo ticks off the fried-fat-salt tri­umvi­rate with com­plete class.

And a terrific tartare with bot­targa and pomme paille of­fers a sump­tu­ous spin on steak and chips.

The deli is as sleekly hand­some a space as we’ve come to ex­pect from Pick­ett (ESP, Estelle Bistro, Saint Crispin), as is the warm hos­pi­tal­ity and ser­vice from a team drilled in get­ting the lit­tle things right.

There’s good booze to wash it all down, with a clever se­lec­tion of cock­tails that pack an art­ful punch, such as a jalapeno-spiked White Pick­ett Fence, or a ba­con, bour­bon, ba­nana-driven 3B, as well as beer and wines. And if you don’t have time to stop, you can also pick up worldly gro­ceries – plus that great roast chook – to take home.

Yes, it’s got brains. Pick­ett’s Deli is very smart in­deed.

From top: ro­tis­serie chicken with hand­cut fries, the pol­ished in­te­rior, and the steak tartare. 507 El­iz­a­beth St, Mel­bourne pick­etts­deli.com

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