Hammer and Tong 412 – Sublime Menu

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Hammer and Tong comes to you from the team of Dennis Ferriera and chef Simon Ward and is located in the previous location of The Brix. They pretty much left the fit-out as it was  with the open kitchen, the large open windows and the decor.

Both Ferriera and Ward come with a wealth of experience and have worked in restaurants such as Di Stasio, Caffe e Cucina to France Soir, Momo, Vue De Monde and Jacques Reymond. In Hammer and Tong they have brought together casual dining and fine dining all in one and they do it exceptionally well.

Hammer and Tong has a bright and chirpy atmosphere and although it accompanies a smallish space, the light and large windows make it somewhat spacious. There are elements of old school from the big vintage scale at the front where newspapers are held one with a old school iron. There are three different dining spaces such as the main dining hall as you enter, where you can see the baristas’ busily making coffees, followed by the corridor bar and the sunroom at the very back of the space. Both the corridor bar and the sunroom has bar seating that overlooks the window as well as low table seating. In the corridor bar there are hanging plants over head and interesting lighting around the place.

We came on a Saturday morning around 11am and as expected there was a line to get a table. The staff informed us it would be about a 5-10 minute wait which it was. We were seated in the corridor bar and placed our coffee orders whilst we looked at the menu. I had heard a lot about the soft shell crab burger, but settled on the spiced corn fritters as I wanted something more breakfasty. I also wanted to try out their pancakes and told the waiter that once we were done with the savoury dishes to bring out the pancakes – as a dessert =)

We placed our food orders and it wasn’t until we had almost received our food that we got our coffees. It was full house and I did have to remind them about our coffee orders – this was somewhat of a let down.The coffee was good though – creamy and smooth and is from Dukes Coffee Roasters.

My Spiced Corn Fritters, Avocado,  Sour Cream, Chilli Jam, Tomato with a Poached Egg came out and was plated up brilliantly. There were three corn fritters, atop of the tomato in a triangle shape with the poached egg in the middle and the other elements around. The fritters were dense and tasty and I loved the hint of spice attached to them. They were the perfect crisp on the outside as well. Combining them with the avocado, sour cream and chilli jam completed the dish perfectly. This was a sublime dish – one of the best corn fritters I have had to date. N ordered Fried Eggs with a side of Chorizo and said the Chorizo was the best that he has had at any of the many cafe’s we have been to.

Once we were done with our savoury dishes, the waiter brought us the pancake dish – Buttermilk Pancakes, Blueberries, Maple Syrup & Popping Candy Ice Cream. If you think just from reading about the dish that its good – wait till you actually try it – it definitely does live up to all its expectations. There are four buttermilk pancakes surrounded by blueberries, maple syrup and ice cream which has the popping candy placed on top. As the dish is placed down in front of us, you can hear the crackle of the popping candy. Not only does the popping candy add a hit of crackle and a party in your mouth but adds lots of colour to the dish. The pancakes were thick but not too thick, fluffy, sweet and warm. The blueberries were fresh and juicy. All the elements together worked together and made for a great dish. It did get overly sweet towards the end but for some people that really isn’t a problem =p

Hammer and Tong is great new breakfast/brunch place that has a great ambiance and fantastic music playing over the speakers. From the lines at the door it certainly is popular and after having tried it I can tell why – the food is fresh, delicious and unique, and you can tell the experience of the team from the dishes. I forgot about the fact that our coffees were late as those corn fritters were just amazing, not to mention the pancakes.

Hammer & Tong offers coffee, breakfast, lunch, snacks and beverages six days a week, from Tuesday through to Sunday. Dinner is offered Thursday through to Saturday.

Rating : 4 Pandas
Price: $$
Menu – Brunch menu – http://www.hammerandtong.com.au/brunch.html Dinner menu – http://www.hammerandtong.com.au/dinner.html
Fullness: 100%
Atmosphere / Ambience: Bright, Light and Chirpy – it really does pick up your day!
Standout Dish: Spiced Corn Fritters, Avocado,  Sour Cream, Chilli Jam, Tomato with a Poached Egg
Service: Friendly
Online Booking: No
Restaurant Details and Location:
http://www.hammerandtong.com.au/index.html
Rear 412 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy
Tel No: 9041 6033

Opening Hours:
Tuesday to Saturday: 7:00 am – 11:00 pm
Sunday: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm

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Annoying Brother – Relaxed Brunch

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annoying brother Avocado Smash with Mushrooms and a Cappuccino

Inside Annoying BrotherInside Annoying Brother – love the chalkboard wall!

Cake and QuotesA delicious cake and an awesome quote in the background

Menu:

Drink Menu @ Annoying Brother Food Menu @ Annoying Brother

Annoying Brother is one of my new favourite cafes. Located on the hustle and bustle of Nicholson Street, Annoying Brother, owned by Julian Moussi, is a small and cosy cafe. There are large accordian windows which make the venue bright and happy, as well as letting a cool breeze in. There is a blackboard wall filled with Lunch Specials, Breakkie Specials as well some funky and artistic drawings and quotes. This all adds to the playfulness and fun-ness of this place.

The menu (can be found above) is simple yet different. There are interesting dishes on the menu such as Silly Eggs – soft poached eggs dropped in Napoli sauce with chorizo and feta, The MeBrother which is honey glazed ham with creamy scrambled eggs on an english muffin,  as well as everyone’s favourite Smashed Avocado and Homemade Pancakes. There is also a Breakkie Burrito to try as well as a generous range of paninis, focaccias and salads. I ordered the Smashed Avocado with a side of Mushrooms and N ordered the  ‘Tetris’, which is a “build your breakkie” option that starts with a foundation of eggs of your choice on toast with extras.

The Smashed Avocado was simple yet tasty and just the kind of dish that I needed on this Saturday morning. I definitely want to come back and try out some of the other dishes on the menu especially the Silly Eggs. and some of the delicious cakes that are made fresh. How scrumptious does the chocolate cake with strawberries look in the picture above.

This cafe is not just about the food, but about the coffee as well. You can select from V60 Pourover, Syphon and Cold Drip styles. The coffee is creamy and nutty and tastes delicious. There are tables and chairs located outside in the sunshine to enjoy your meal or read the paper. There are also seats located on a high bar overlooking the road which are funky to be seated on as well. The staff are friendly and happy to offer their opinion if you can’t decide on what dish you want. Definitely come and try out this place – its on my list of breakkie/brunch places to try!

Rating : 4 Pandas
Price: $$
Menu – Breakfast and Lunch Menu – refer to the menu pictures above.
Fullness: 100%
Atmosphere / Ambience: Casual, Relaxed and Friendly – great for a weekend catch up!
Standout Dish: Smashed Avocado and Lemon Infused Feta with Sourdough
Service: Friendly, happy and helpful.
Online Booking: No
Restaurant Details and Location:
650 Nicholson Street
Fitzroy North
Tel No: 9482 9494

Opening Hours:
Monday to Sunday: 7am to 4pm

Annoying Brother Espresso + Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Gypsy Hideout – A Hidden Gem


   

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Gypsy Hideout is located in High St, Northcote and is tucked away – if you drive past you really wouldn’t notice this place as a breakfast / brunch place. Gypsy Hideout is owned by Freddy Raftellis and is an airy and light-filled place with polished wood floors and white brick walls, and out the back is a courtyard for those warm summery days.

There is a breakfast and lunch menu written on blackboards from which you order from. The Gypsy Hideout drinks are quite innovative and interesting. I ordered the Gypsy Elixir – which is a combination of juices such as Blackcurrant and Berries – came in a flask with a straw to drink from. Their concoction tasted great – it was refreshing with just the right amount of sweetness. My friend ordered an Ice Coffee and it arrived with two separated layers which was unique. The menu covers a variety of combinations including some Middle Eastern touches. I can never go past mushrooms for breakkie so I had the Poached Eggs with Lemon + Thyme Field Mushrooms, Spinach and Truffle and my friend ordered one of the Sourdough Baguettes.
The food was fresh and tasted great. Some of the ingredients are taken right from the courtyard garden. In my dish, the truffle added an extra oomph to the dish and the poached eggs had just the right amount of runniness. When the baguette came out – it was MASSIVE!! My friend had no idea where to start to eat it. Value for money definitely.

The staff were friendly and the place was relaxed and cheery. The courtyard out the back was a definite winner to enjoy the sunshine.

Rating : 3 Pandas
Price: $$
Menu – Refer to pictures above
Fullness: 100%
Atmosphere / Ambience: Bright and Cheery
Standout Dish: Gypsy Elixir and Lemon + Thyme Field Mushrooms
Service: Friendly
Online Booking: No
Restaurant Details and Location:
68 High St, Northcote
Tel No: 0433 166 248

Opening Hours:
Sunday: 8am  to 4pm
Monday – CLOSED
Tuesday to Thursday: 7:30am to 4pm
Friday – 7:30am to 5pm
Saturday: 8am to 5pm

Gypsy Hideout on Urbanspoon