In Melbourne where cafes are aplenty, you’ll never fall short of choices. But not all cafes are created equal-Hammer and Tong is a must visit, especially when normal just aint good enough.
It took us ages to find the popular brunch spot, as it’s tucked in an inconspicuous corner. The interior is simple with a rustic touch of suspended plants, iron bases as sign boards, metal tablets and warm wooden chairs. Be warned, this place is not for those who cannot stand noise (loud rock music playing constantly) and booming chatter. It was such a ruckus that we gave up having conversation.
The menu is what I’d describe as quirky, mostly consisting of peculiar creations for the adventurous palate. The Salt and Pepper French Toast ( AUD 21) is a great example to illustrate this point. The innovative brunch plate comprises of fried duck egg, maple, chorizo and smoked Oreo crumbs, and to cap it all off, duck egg and salted caramel ice cream. It’s a combination I’ve never tried before, but fell in love with upon the first bite.
Less bold but still stellar, the Soft Shell Crab Burger (AUD 14) should not be missed. Sandwiched between pillowy soft brioche buns is a perfectly fried crunchy soft shell crab, paired with coleslaw to nullify any greasiness. Super comfort food I must say.
We were less enamoured by the alarming charred look of the Corn and Zucchini Fritters (AUD 18), served with cumin spiced avocado mousse, manchego, tabaso jam, chilli, tomato and completed with a single poached egg. The misguided charred flavour of the fritters’ exterior was a let-down.
Such lovely hues! Hammer and Tong’s inclusion of dehydrated fruit turns the humble fruit yoghurt into something more upscale. The Lavender Yoghurt Custard (AUD 19) comprises of a myriad of sweet and tangy flavours from elements such as strawberry and pineapple gel, berries, lychee and basil cress.
To sum up, despite the miss with the corn and zucchini fritters, we enjoyed the refreshing experience and friendly service very much. I recommend checking out Hammer and Tong, especially if you’re tired of usual brunch fare.
Hammer and Tong
Rear 412 Brunswick St
Tel: 03 9041 6033