Review: Hammer & Tong 412

When someone says, “to go at it hammer and tong” it means that they have tackled something energetically and with great determination. And that’s the exact attitude of Hammer & Tong 412.

My breakfast: corn & zucchini fritters, cumin spiced avocado & tahini mousse, manchego, chilli tomato relish, and a poached egg (also available in fried). I'm completely in love with fritters at the moment and that mousse was unlike anything I've ever had before but was still delicious. Also, manchego cheese is becoming my new favourite. 
I, along with the rest of Melbourne, have been watching H&T gain more and more momentum and popularity since it opened in early 2013. Melbourne is known for being breakfast food crazy, so it takes a lot to be considered one of the best in this city. Because of this reputation it has been a café on my wish list for a while and mum and I finally got down to check it out today.

Mum's breakfast: sausage and egg muffin with espresso maple bacon foam, and smoked cheese. Mum isn't crazy about foamed food but she kept raving about the fact that it did in fact taste like bacon! 
There’s not much to signpost the existence of H&T, which is nestled behind Brunswick Street. The exterior of the café fits in with the rest of the Brunswick Street scene, with impressive and eye-catching, grungy graffiti sprayed across the outside walls. We were greeted by friendly staff, and this service continued throughout our meal. Our food was delivered quickly (but this may be because we were there on a Thursday morning - it may be a different story during peak times).

The menu changes seasonally but their famous soft shell crab burger is a crowd favourite and can generally is a consistent inclusion. Next time I'm definitely going to give that burger a try. 
Head Chef Simon Ward and manager Dennis Ferreira allegedly met whilst working together at the revered Vue De Monde, so the quality of this place is to be expected. And it delivers. When it comes to food, the menu refuses to be ignored. There are too many interesting dishes not to warrant another visit, with the menu featuring meals outside of your average breakfast fare (which is probably why it is being embraced by the city of breakfast). There are options like Asian inspired breakfast ramen (noodles and all) or lavender yoghurt with an inventive strawberry and pineapple gel. Breakfast and lunch is served until 3pm and dinner available on Tuesday through to Saturday.

The logo is pretty cool, it could almost be worn as a patch on your bag to show your allegiance to Melbourne's breakfast scene. 
The moment you walk in you are greeted with a stark contrast to the exterior. Minimal, hard surfaces in slate grey, clean lines, and matching stools, make up the décor of this restaurant, which creates a relaxing and comfortable vibe. The interior is divided into three unique areas: the main dining area and coffee bar, a corridor bar, and a large sunroom, which is beautifully lit from the large glass windows – it feels like you’re eating outside without suffering the chill from Melbourne weather. Mum and I were lucky that the weather was so beautiful today; we were seated in the sunroom and bathed in the sun’s rays.

Hammer & Tong 412 definitely lives up to expectations and is a must try, just for bragging rights to say you've been to one of the most beloved cafe/restaurants in Melbourne.

Hammer & Tong 412
Rear of 412 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy
9041 6033

Sun - Mon: 7am to 4pm
Tues - Sat: 7am to late


Hammer & Tong on Urbanspoon

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