Where would you go if you had crab cravings? Or burger cravings? Or coffee cravings? How about all of the above? The answer to these questions is Hammer & Tong.
Hammer & Tong is a hipstery cafe serving up delectable breakfast/brunch dishes as well as those more substantial for dinner. Their coffees are fantastic, service right up there and just like many other popular Melbourne restaurants, the wait in line is just as impressive. I visited with my friends towards the end of 2013, after a lot of the hype has died down, so I was surprised that the line was still so long. It was for lunch on a Sunday.
It was a windy and cold day, my poor friends had to wait for me to arrive (as I’m always late to these gatherings) out in the cold. All up we waited about half an hour for our table. We were all very hungry when we were seated and anything and everything looked great on the menu.
I love the atmosphere and decor here, especially the hanging plants. Makes the place feel warmer.
We started off with a few drinks – namingly coffee ($3.80) for me. Their cappuccino art was simply beautiful. Wish I can make coffees like this one day. It was smooth and quite aromatic.
Yuye held off on the coffee and decided on the golden gaytime milkshake ($6) instead. It tasted different to what I thought, it was more like a milky oaty cereal drink. Quite interesting actually.
Y got a blueberry smoothie ($6) which was not all that blueberry tasting, more honey and a bit sweet.
Their signature soft shell crab burger ($12) is as good as all the hype says, albeit it was a little small. Inside a beautiful, soft brioche bun, the whole soft shell crab looked as though it was trying to lure me closer, to take a bite. Or that it was desperately trying to get away.
It wasn’t too oily and the sriracha mayo went perfectly with the crab. It was a pleasure to eat. If you want to get this burger without visiting the restaurant, they are now dishing it up at all sorts of festivals and events. The lines will be just as long though.
The menus here are forever changing (with the exception of the soft shell crab burger) so the following few dishes that we had have already been changed out. This includes Yuye’s yabbie tail omelette ($18) which was creamy and lush, although I couldn’t taste the yabbie all that much. It was still a wonderful (and filling) dish. Look how beautiful the egg is…
Rach had the lamb ribs, peas, ricotta, preserved lemon, zucchini, mint ($20) which she said was great. I didn’t get a chance to try it though, shame.
Below is the duck egg, asparagus, truffle butter and parmesan briont ($18). I didn’t get to try this either but I was told this was also quite nice.
We ended the meal with a dessert – strawberries, white chocolate, lemon verbena granita ($12). It looked stunning. The only issue was the tiny amount of granita on top which melted very very quickly and ended up sitting as a little puddle on top of the white chocolate sauce. Anyway, it was still quite refreshing and delicious.
Overall we enjoyed the meal. The food was nice, the atmosphere was great, the service was good too. I like how they change their menu all the time so that there’s always a reason to go back.
I would suggest avoiding peak dining times though or be prepared to wait for a while.
By the way, how do you like my new site design my dear readers? Any suggestions or opinions? Would love to hear about it!
Hammer & Tong, Fitzroy
Phone: (03) 9041 6033
Rear 412 Brunswick St
Fitzroy, VIC 3065 (Enter from Westgarth St.)