HAMMER AND TONG FOOD TRUCK

Location Varies (See Website)

Melbourne, VIC 3000
Remember Hammer and Tong, my favourite brunch place of 2013? (And probably of 2014 too, considering I haven’t had any brunch since the new year rolled around.) Well they’re expanding, not with another store, but with a snazzy Food Truck. And I was lucky enough to be fed silly by the gang on a cold Monday night. We ended up trying everything on the short, concise menu, so brace yourselves!
Soft Shell Crab Burger ($14)
As we had hoped, the legendary Soft Shell Crab Burger ($14) is the first item on the menu. It is as amazing as I remembered, the crispy whole crab mingling with shredded Asian slaw and lashings of sriracha mayo between the buttered brioche buns. It is downright sinful. 
Lobster Roll ($16)
The ying to the soft shell crab burger’s yang is the delicate Lobster Roll ($16). The dainty filling of lime butter sauce and celery pieces, interspersed with real chunks of translucent lobster, overflowed from the charcoal roll. Unfortunately it came across as rather bland after the soft shell crab roll, and I probably wouldn’t have it again, even if the ingredients were top notch.
Sweet and Sour Pork ($15)
Sweet and Sour Pork ($15)
Hammer and Tong doesn’t do things by half measures, and the Sweet and Sour Pork ($15) is as good as any slow-cooked pork belly from a restaurant. The seductive chunks of sweet yet tangy pork mingled with the crunch of puffed rice and pork crackling, and if you don’t like Brussels sprouts, you’ll love them after these soft, maple-glazed ones.
Carrot Cheesecake Salad ($9)
I almost didn’t order the Carrot Cheesecake Salad ($9). Because honestly. Carrot cheesecake salad. And it only got weirder; grilled and pickled carrots were scattered with chestnut crumble, dollops of cheese curd, salty kale crisps, and get this – curried caramel. But by god it worked, the sweetness dallying with the salty and spicy for a sensationally different salad. Good luck trying to replicate this at home. 
Lavender Yoghurt Custard ($8)
The surprises continued with the ridiculously pretty Lavender Yoghurt Custard ($8). Thick and tangy, it’s almost Greek yoghurt-like, topped with a sweet potpourri of fresh and freeze-dried fruits, and flower blossoms you can actually taste. This was a fantastically versatile dessert that could double as a virtuous breakfast. Or a flower arrangement. 
Candy Bar Cookie ($4)/Nana’s Pavlova Cookie ($4)
For those with a more primitive sweet tooth, the home-made cookies are sure to satisfy. Chewy on the edges and oh-so-soft in the centre, the Candy Bar Cookie ($4) was mixed through with chocolate, nuts, and caramel. Meanwhile the Nana’s Pavlova Cookie($4) was flavoured with strawberry and a topping of crushed meringue. These were seriously good.
If you go through our meal and add up the costs, you’ll see that it ended up being as much as pasta, wine, and tiramisu for two. A tad exorbitant, but entirely understandable given the calibre of the food. Plus, I won’t pretend that having the soft shell crab burger roving across town upsets me very much at all.
Rating: 15/20 – restaurant food truck.
This rating reflects my personal experience at the time of visit.
Sweet and Sour Fork dined as a guest of Hammer and Tong. 

Hammer & Tong Food Truck on Urbanspoon

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