Last month, chef Scott Pickett opened his first non-restaurant; a 36-seat deli/wine bar at Queen Victoria Market. It’s a much more casual concept than his other venues, fine diners Estelle by Scott Pickett (ESP), Estelle Bistro and Saint Crispin.
“I wanted a different challenge,” he says. “I love fine dining – ESP is my dream – but there’s a huge amount of pressure that comes with it.
“Here, if you pay $10 for a bacon-and-egg butty and you don’t like it, you can go and get a bratwurst instead.”
Still, Pickett’s Deli & Rotisserie is no run-of-the-mill diner. It’s modelled on something you’d find in either New York or Paris, with marble counters, high ceilings and a herringbone-patterned wooden floor. At its centre sits a giant rotisserie.
It functions both as an all-day eatery and general store, where you can stop for breakfast (house-set yoghurt, fruit, rice pudding, muesli), lunch (sandwiches and salads), dinner or a glass of wine, oysters or charcuterie. Or, you can pop in and pick up a bottle of wine, house-made pickles and preserves, a roast chicken – anything – to take away.
Chef Aaron Brodie has come over from Estelle to run the kitchen. The rotisserie is the main focus, with Milawa, Bannockburn and Saskia Beer chickens (the latter to order, stuffed with truffle butter). Other meats, including duck, beef and the house-cured and smoked bacon are cooked in the rotisserie, too.
The wine list has been put together by James Dossan, sommelier at ESP, and Aaron King, who was also at ESP but is now managing Pickett’s Deli. Coffee is by Dukes Coffee Roasters.
“This is about showcasing everything the market has to offer,” says Pickett. “Quinces, when they’re in season, or lamb in spring.
“The markets really hold a special place in the hearts of most Melburnians. They have a special place in my heart,” he adds. “One of my earliest memories is of my father bringing me here for a bratwurst, and lots of people have a story like that. We’re really lucky to be part of it.”
Pickett’s Deli & Rotisserie
Queen Victoria Market (corner of Therry and Elizabeth Streets)
Thu to Sun 7am–11pm
This article was updated on November 10, 2016.