Hot Plates: Pickett’s Deli & Rotisserie, Melbourne

Rôtisserie chicken with gravy and stuffing.

Rôtisserie chicken with gravy and stuffing.

Scott Pickett's new deli serves breakfast in the morning and transforms into a wine bar at night.

Scott Pickett has form spotting gaps in the market, as his success at ESP, Saint Crispin and Estelle Bistro prove, but at his latest venture he has spotted a gap at the Market. Pickett's Deli & Rotisserie is on the Elizabeth Street edge of the Queen Victoria Market and, as it turns out, is just the kind of smart-casual dining option that one of Melbourne's oldest and largest markets needs.

The rôtisserie chickens come from either Bannockburn or Milawa and are worth a visit on their own. Served by the quarter, half or whole, and accompanied by roast vegetables and a silky, salty gravy, the spice-rubbed birds are firm and juicy with the kind of golden skin grandma would be proud of.

Read our first look interview with Scott Pickett

Beyond the chook, the tight single-page menu lists oysters, pickles, charcuterie and snacks down one side (sardines and smoked tomato on toast delivers a spirit-lifting flavour punch) with larger dishes such as big-flavoured wagyu meatballs served with crisp-edged cuttlefish and jamón on the other.

Charcuterie board.

Pickett's looks great, the dark-hued Hirsch Bedner Associates fit-out teaming recycled timber - herringbone floor, communal table top - with a marble counter, dark-stained timber shelving stacked with house-made pickles and vinegars, glass display boxes for pastry and charcuterie and a sculptural, box-like light fitting framing the high ceiling.

Pickett's Deli & Rotisserie.

Most of the seating is around the communal table or at tables outside on Elizabeth and Therry Streets with other options at window benches and a few seats at the counter, bathed in the glow of the rôtisserie.

The deli does breakfast too, including a bacon and brown sauce roll, fried free-range egg optional, using thick-cut house-cured bacon. Coffee is supplied by Dukes and the compact but comprehensive drinks list has 15-20 wines that change daily, Old and New World, and all available by the glass, flagging Pickett's ambitions as a wine bar after dark.

Rôtisserie du jour baguette.

The Queen Vic has never been short of eating options but, until now, the best of them have been about bratwurst and börek with not a glass of wine in sight. Pickett's Deli changes all of that. It feels like a step in exactly the right direction.

Pickett's Deli & Rotisserie, open Thu-Sat 7am-10pm, Sun- Wed 7am-5pm, 507 Elizabeth St (cnr Therry St), Melbourne, Vic, (03) 9328 3213, pickettsdeli.com


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