Fitzroy, Melbourne – Fitzroy’s culinary scene is pretty awesome – you’ve got your choice of premium eats on Brunswick, Gertrude and Smith Streets – so anything new to the scene needs to have serious cut-through and a distinctive style.
Hammer & Tong 412, on the corner of Brunswick and Westgarth Streets, has both in spades. Owners Dennis Ferreira and Simon Ward have a top-shelf Melbourne foodie pedigree, having met while working together at Shannon Bennett’s prestige Melbourne establishment Vue de Monde.
Hammer & Tong 412 is thankfully a lot easier on the wallet than Vue de Monde, but the menu, décor and service as good as it gets for your more casual, albeit upmarket, dining experience.
I’ve only been for brunch, but am planning on one day trying their dinner service. Simply reading the menu alone is enough to get the tastebuds tingling – bircher muesli with Anzac biscuit granola; buttermilk pancakes with blueberries, maple syrup and POPPING CANDY ICE CREAM, oh my!!!!!!; Toblerone and Golden Gaytime milkshakes. For your lunchier brunchers, there’s a shout-out to our northern neighbours with a QLD soft shell crab burger with sesame salad and siracha mayonnaise. I’m a Ploughman’s Lunch connoisseur so I’ve tried that out and it did not disappoint – a juicy terrine combined with a light ham, mix of cheddar and brie cheeses, cornichons, olives and condiments of tomato relish and a delightful mayo.
The décor is streamlined, modern and bright and the service was exceptional. Truly, our waiters provided a five-star dining experience for brunch.
Hammer & Tong 412 is my new favourite brunch place and definitely the place I will be taking out-of-towners locally from now on.
View: hammerandtong412.com.au; Visit: Rear 412 Brunswick St, Fitzroy (enter via Westgarth St); Open: Tues to Fri 7am-4pm, Sat & Sun 8am-5pm; Wallet: $7.50-$18 for breakfast/brunch/lunch, $7-$32 for dinner, $10-$13 for dessert.by