It might be safe to say that Matt Wilkinson and Ben Foster have become the patron saints of East Brunswick dining and drinking with their acclaimed menus at Pope Joan and The Bishop of Ostia. And now they're laying claim to local market culture with the recent opening of their Hams & Bacon food store.
Nestled quietly adjacent to the Bishop, the produce and takeaway shop offers a range of fresh dry goods, fruits, vegetables, and meats for the northern sect that wishes to bring the fresh ingredients and seasonal theology of the chef back to their own kitchens. Lentils, chickpeas, pastas, sauces and rooftop honeys sit next to cherished meats from such purveyors as Bundarra pork, Seven Hill goat, Wilawa chicken and Warialda Belted Galloway beef. Stacks of Wilkinson's cookbook peek out of the corners in case shoppers need a little extra inspiration. "We are very passionate about our small producers that Matt has championed over the years," says Foster. "So what better for our customers than to pick up some beautiful meat and produce for dinner after visiting the cafe."
Hams & Bacon also offers the options for takeaway Allpress coffee and sandwiches for the Pope and Bishop overflow. They even sell the same Robert Gordon "Coco" ceramics that litter the Pope and Bishop tables.
The space itself is a cosy dedication to all things concise, focused and local. Foster worked with Matt Rawlins of Figure Ground Architecture to create a welcoming space that helps encapsulate the Wilkinson cooking ideology. Fitted out with vintage baskets, burlap sacks and a sleek subway tile coffee bar, Hams & Bacon is a country general store with a modern Melbourne mindset.
Hams & Bacon
75 Nicholson Street, Brunswick East
(03) 9387 3313