‘Simple, yet significant and always intentional’. These are the six words which grace the front of Ascot Vale’s No 19 and resonate throughout its space. For owners, Domenic and Diana Caruso (St Rose, Pinkie), the number 19 is all those things, as it was their age when they first met and is the date their son was born too. It’s also the street address of their iconic Essendon café, St Rose. Finally, if you are one to believe in Angel Numbers, seeing the No 19 also signifies you are about to embark on a new and exciting journey. Wowsers, what better way to walk through a door!

The first thing that strikes you upon entering No 19 is the immaculate design and sense of space. The team from Biasol nailed it here and consequently this venue has been nominated for many a design award. Once the impact of ‘I just walked into heaven’ subsides a little, you start to take in some of the simple, thoughtful details scattered throughout the café which contribute to its relaxed sense of sophistication. Teal tiles frame the concrete service counter: Nice. Street lamp lighting lines the rear of the venue: Classy. Warm brass touches are thoughtfully spaced throughout, so that each one cleverly ties back into the café’s logo: Well played. All of this is bathed in an ocean of natural light which streams through the portals in the ceiling onto a custom-painted white and brass Synesso MVP Hydra. Cue the singing angels now please …

Everyone has a favourite place to perch to watch the action in their café of choice. For coffee folk, that place is often the Brew Bar. There is something immensely satisfying about sitting near a team of professional baristas during service, watching them calmly push out dozens of coffees using an immaculate workflow. You know your brew is in safe hands. The team at No 19 have made this easier with the installation of a Marco SP9 Twin. The automated pour over brewer allows the barista to prepare a delicious batch of filtered coffee easily, while still engaging with patrons on the other side of the bar. The customer is then free to enjoy the hypnotic flow of precision hot water bubbling through the top of the SP9’s transparent reservoir over freshly ground specialty goodness. This effectively means that the workflow is not interrupted when a pour over docket turns up in the middle of service. Hallelujah! The SP9 can also be used to brew pots of tea, which in turn removes the need to use the espresso machine which can then continue firing at full pressure. Winner! Meanwhile at the grinders, a clever use of scales and multiple rotating coffee dosing cups means the baristas are not waiting for their coffee to grind whilst preparing their espresso. The dose is ready to go when they need it. No precious time or coffee is wasted. Seriously, it’s the best seat in the house. What a show.

With so much consideration given to the layout of the venue and the excellent workflow in the coffee bar, you can be confident that this thoughtfulness continues when it comes to the rest of the menu. Dishes are a mix of classic breakfast and lunch options, all given the considered No 19 twist. Signature items such as the Breakfast Ramen in a smoked ham hock broth or the pancakes with peanut butter parfait and dulce de leche are simply must-haves. No 19 is also very family friendly, and as such, there are plenty of food options available for even the littlest of champions.

Open 7 days a week.


214 Union Rd, Ascot Vale VIC 3032

Mon – Fri: 7am – 4pm
Sat – Sun: 8am – 4pm

(03) 9372 8777

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© Photos provided with permission by Emily Bartlett. All rights reserved by photographer.

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