Sadly, Hammer & Tong closed it’s doors in early January of 2017. Stating a “refresh”, we’re hoping it will rise again. Have a read of our experience to find out why it stood out from the crowd.
Returning to the always colourful Brunswick, we find ourselves outside the Soviet Union styled signage of Hammer & Tong. Thankfully there is more than borscht and vodka on the menu.
Before we get to our stomachs, we are greeted promptly at the door and wait whilst some tables are cleared to accomodate our larger group. Tables are limited, seating a maximum of 30 guests at a time, including bar space. Not everyone is dining in, however; patrons trickle in for a quick caffeine and pastry fix constantly. No surprise, the coffee is excellent.
The decor is interesting, but not utilitarian as the name suggests. Shingle tiles line the kitchen and bar stool area, whilst black brick frames a flowery mosaic at the barista counter. There’s no real theme, but the blended media are no eyesore either, it just works.
Which is how we would describe the menu. Nothing is traditional, even basic smashed avocado has had the Hammer Makeover (sounds painful, but delicious).
There’s a brilliant assortment of sweet, savoury and spicy options to tempt, but the spicy varieties are a clear winner, taking simple recipes and ramping them up with a punch. Pulled beef or pork are consistently excellent, remaining a constant on the seasonally shifting menu.
Like modern art, presentation varies from dish-to-dish and is open to the eaters interpretation. Some are heavily garnished (the waffles) and others presented solo (the burger), but all are scrumptious. Portion sizes are ample, leaving you with a satisfied stomach, and a slight tingle on the tongue from the chilli you weren’t expecting to find.
We thought the price was suiting considering the meal sizes and complex flavours. If you’re looking for something out of the ordinary, Hammer & Tong is for you.
Rating – 73%