Yay! Managed to recently turn a short work trip into a Melbourne food feast with endless eating and getting fat! Since we managed to squeeze a weekend into the trip we were able to head out to the hipster central of Melbourne, Fitzroy to check out this awesome little brunch joint called Hammer & Tong. I saw the images on Urbanspoon and they looked absolutely amazing so I was determined to eat here! Unfortunately, when we got to Hammer & Tong, there was this lengthy line out the door and we were told it would probably be a 45 minute wait. Normally I won’t really bother with waiting in line for food, since I figure there’s so much good food out there surely there’s something I won’t have to wait too long for, but well, Urbanspoon definitely won me over this time, the pictures just looked so damn good. I went against my own rules and waited and luckily it was totally worth it, the food at Hammer & Tong was beyond fantastic! Oh, before I forget to mention, I don’t think Hammer & Tong takes bookings, either that or I forgot to book.
Anyways, less rambling more food talk.
First up, the Breakfast ramen ($15), 62° hens egg, bacon, oyster mushrooms, spring onions and bacon dash. This was amazing. A little different to what we were expecting but so tasty. So when we checked Urbanspoon and saw the pictures of this place, the Breakfast ramen looked like it was served on a board or a plate or something. Due to this, I thought it would be something like a dry mi goreng style noodle served with eggs and bacon. Definitely breakfasty and weird!
When the dish came out it was indeed dry but it also came with this little teapot full of steaming broth that you pour all over the noodles, which is probably something the pictures on Urbanspoon didn’t really capture. This definitely ramped up the Asianness of this dish which I didn’t mind at all! It turned it into a real ramen dish that I just so happened to be eating for breakfast, and the soup was welcome relief from the cold winter morning.
The ramen itself was super tasty, with a strong miso flavour flowing through everything. The bacon was served in big thick slabs and I absolutely loved it! Just biting into a big ol chunk of really high quality bacon is something that isn’t really easy to describe with words, and it’s definitely not as salty as I expected it to be. The mushrooms were a really nice addition to this dish and added a lot of texture and earthy flavours with a lot of smokiness. The noodles were perfect, silky smooth, soft but still had a little bit of bite to them and were as good as any ramen I’ve ever had previously. Whoever is making the noodle out in Hammer & Tong knows exactly what they’re doing! But undoubtedly the best part of the bowl was the gooey 62° egg. I have a soft spot for 62 degree eggs, their texture is absolutely incredible it’s hard to describe, just imagine the yolky consistency of a poached egg but for the egg white as well! The yolk oozed out into the broth making it super creamy and the whites just melted in your mouth. Really good!
Our second dish was the Soft shell crab burger ($12). We weren’t expecting massive things from this dish to be honest, but boy did it deliver! The Asian themes of the dishes we ate ran strong in this one too! Lovely fried soft shell crab, coriander and a really tangy salad.
The soft shell crab was really nice and crispy on the outside but soft inside and not overly oily, I tend to find a lot of places struggle with that last bit, and in a burger I was really concerned about the crab being too oily as it honestly would’ve ruined this a bit for me. Thankfully this wasn’t the case and the crab really suited this burger perfectly. It went really well with the fluffy bun which had a little bit of sweetness to it but held its shape really well. The salad, sauce and generous amount of coriander all added up to a really strong set of flavours that all balanced wonderfully. Delicious!
And some drinks to top it all off, first up the Gaytime milkshake ($6). This was really nice and refreshing, I love milkshakes and could not go past this one when I saw it on the menu. It had a strong honeycomb and toffee flavour to it and also had some crispy chunks at the bottom which really reminded me of the ice cream bar. I was worried that it would be too rich but it wasn’t overly sweet which was was awesome because I could drink it all up myself and didn’t have to share it with anyone!
And lastly, a Chai ($4). Couldn’t finish off breakfast without having a warm drink and I don’t really do coffee, so a chai it was. The chai was really good. Really creamy, frothy and had a lot of super strong chai spice flavours to it. The chai here was up there with one of the best I’ve ever had, take that for what you will. I should add, they made it look really pretty too! I don’t drink coffee much so I still get all excited about froth designs!
The food at Hammer & Tong was absolutely amazing, everything looked fantastic and the taste absolutely matched it too. I’m so sad I couldn’t fit in a dinner here, we just didn’t have enough time but next time we are in town, I’m definitely going to try and set something up at Hammer & Tong again!
Check out some of our other food adventures from Melbourne: