Hammer & Tong

Rear 412 Brunswick St
Fitzroy, VIC 
I’m not much of a trend person. Clothing? Comfortable and timeless please. TV shows? I’d rather read. Fad diets? Pass the ice cream. Anyway that’s my excuse for taking the best part of a year to visit Hammer & Tong. But in my defence, with new delicacies popping up around Melbourne on a weekly basis, plus a huge to-eat backlog, I’m pretty proud of myself for making this visit before the New Year rolled around. 
Hammer & Tong was the new ‘it’ thing earlier this year, and whilst the hype has died down a little, the adoration certainly hasn’t. We were lucky enough to visit on a cold Thursday morning, and were immediately seated at a table in the long, industrially chic cafe. I especially liked the hanging pot plants. 

Soft Shell Crab Burger ($16)
If Hammer & Tong has a signature dish, the Soft Shell Crab Burger ($16) is it, and it’s not very hard to see why. Perched between shells of soft brioche, an entire crab quietly waits to be devoured. Sriracha mayo and delicate cabbage slaw compliments the crispy crustacean, with a few sprigs of invigorating coriander thrown in. Put that together, and every mouthful is a potpourri of textures and flavours, delightful to the last bite. 

Spring Peppers, Chorizo, Fried Egg, Spring Onion, Parsley on Sourdough ($19)
Equally as exciting was the Spring Peppers, Chorizo, Fried Egg, Spring Onion, Parsley on Sourdough ($19). Like the name, the dish itself is as intricate as it is humble, a beautifully envisioned meal made from nothing but pantry staples, and a medley from the garden.

Spring Peppers, Chorizo, Fried Egg, Spring Onion, Parsley on Sourdough ($19)
And it is a cracker of a breakfast. It is a celebration of Spring; a variety of peppers that were sweet, spicy, and smoky in turn; one long baton of leek, caramelised and covered in golden yolk; a mixture of sprightly greens from the garden. And though not strictly an ode to the season, three outstanding chorizos that were bold and chunky, with great depth of flavour. It just goes to show how exquisite yet effortless food can be, when high quality, in-season produce is used.
It takes a really good meal for me to re-realise just how lucky I am to be living in Melbourne, and Hammer & Tong had me waxing lyrical before I was even halfway through. With an ever-changing menu that boasts so much good produce and innovative combinations, Hammer & Tong is a brilliant addition to the brunch scene, even by Melbourne standards.
Rating: 16/20 – best brunch of 2013.
This rating reflects my personal experience at the time of visit.

Hammer & Tong on Urbanspoon

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