Friday, 20 December 2013

Hammer & Tong 412

It’s Hammer time! I don’t mean MC Hammer, although I do love that song... I’m talking about one of Melbourne’s hottest cafés, Hammer & Tong. We went for lunch today but it is also open for dinner. Situated just off Brunswick Street, you can find the entry for Hammer & Tong in Westgarth Street. It is quite a narrow space made up of three rooms. We sat in the open window section so we had a great view of some of Fitzroy’s amazing street art.

View from window
 


 
The service at Hammer & Tong was absolutely faultless. Probably some of the best service I have come across in Melbourne. Also, the waiters here are seriously gorgeous... My latte ($3.80) was delicious and full-bodied. Hammer & Tong use Dukes coffee.

Latte
Now, for the food... You may have already tried their infamous Soft shell crab burger ($16.00). I thought I would try something different. I just had to choose the Duck egg, asparagus, truffle butter, and parmesan briont ($18.00) because it sounded extremely tempting. I am so glad I did as it was fantastic! I thought it may be too rich for me but it was just so luscious I ate the whole thing. My friend was eyeing off my lunch and I was like ‘you can’t touch this!’ Sorry another MC Hammer reference... 
 
Duck Egg Briont

My dining companion chose the English muffin with poached eggs, istra bacon, and hollandaise ($17.00).  This was also a wonderful dish with the added bonus of mountains of spinach. My friend was as strong as Popeye after her meal...
 
Eggs Benedict
The cafe certainly lived up to its hype and I highly recommend you try Hammer & Tong for yourself.
  

Address: Rear 412 Brunswick St, Fitzroy, VIC

Phone: 03 9041 6033

 


Opening Hours: Tues - Sat: 07.00 - late
                  Sun: 08.00 – 05.00
 
Hammer & Tong 412 on Urbanspoon
 

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Pillar of Salt

Looking for something completely decadent? Then go no further than Pillar of Salt’s Mango, raspberry and walnut bread with passionfruit curd. Anyway, I’ll tell you about that later... Located in Richmond, on the corner of Church Street and Willis Street, Pillar of Salt is buried amongst the many showrooms along Church Street. Look for the black and white stripes and the crowd of eager diners waiting for a table.

 
We sat on the communal table today and didn’t have to wait. There’s also a courtyard out the back and a couple of tables out the front. Usually communal tables are great for a sneaky peak into the lives of others but today we sat next to the dullest guys ever. And the language! Didn’t know you could use the ‘F’ word to describe so many things... Anyway, the dishes on the weekend menu include the Vegie Burger- three bean and cashew burger with yoghurt, haloumi, kasoundi, wilted kale on ciabatta ($16.00) and Warmed organic rice pudding with stone fruits and blood plum coulis ($13.50). I chose the ‘Mango, raspberry and walnut bread with passionfruit curd’ ($14.00). Every mouthful just screamed decadence. Sweet, tangy, and scrummy, this was just a brilliant dish. It was a lovely change from the usual banana bread served at cafes. It could have perhaps had a little bit of cream to cut back the sweetness.

Mango, Raspberry and Walnut Bread

My dining companion chose the ‘Pillars red chilli scrambled eggs, julienne bacon, spring onion, parsley, parmesan, toast’ ($16.50)’. This was another delicious dish and had just the right amount of heat. As with this type of bread, it was a little bit difficult to cut through the crust though. I’m so over poached eggs now and this dish has made me revert back to good old scrambled eggs.
 
Pillar Red Chilli Scrambled Eggs

Five Senses coffee is served at Pillar of Salt and our lattes ($3.80) had some pretty fancy coffee art. They also tasted spectacular which is even more important.


The staff efficiently served us even though the place was packed. Pillar of Salt has definitely become one of my favourite cafés in Richmond.
 

Address: 541 Church St, Richmond, VIC

Phone: 03 9421 1550


 
Trading Hours: Mon - Fri: 07:30 - 16:30
              Sat: 08:00 - 17:00
               Sun: 08:00 - 17:00

Pillar of Salt on Urbanspoon
 

Friday, 6 December 2013

Mart 130

Charming is a word often used to describe Mart 130 and indeed it is. You might be thinking why it is called Mart 130? Well, mart is tram spelled backwards and it is located at the 130 tram stop... The cafe resides in the old stationmaster’s building and is so cute and quaint. We sat on the deck out the back as it was a sunny day. A pot of impatiens sat proudly on our table and it really was lovely and cosy on the enclosed desk.


Now, for the menu... There were so many delightful dishes to choose from! It’s always a good sign when you can’t decide what to have. However, I desired something sweet today so I ordered the ‘Organic brioche coconut French toast, pineapple, lychees, mascarpone, and caramel sauce and passionfruit syrup’ ($16.90). As I was eating my meal, I was thinking that it was quite savoury but then half way through I realised it didn’t have the caramel sauce! That would explain it... If it had the caramel sauce, it would have been a much better dish. I also think it could have had a little more time soaking in its eggy mixture before cooking. 
 
French Toast

My dining companion chose the ‘Roast chicken and sausage-onion stuffing in a toasted brioche bun with aioli, rocket, tomato, and crispy bacon’ ($13.50). This was very good but she thought that the sausage element dominated the dish.

Chicken and Sausage Stuffing

The coffee at Mart 130 is Genovese and our lattes ($3.80) were beautifully made. Vintage saucers came with our coffees which added another kitsch element to the cafe.
 
Most of the staff were friendly and they were also very efficient. Although there was a slight blunder with my meal, I would definitely come back to sample some of their other tempting dishes.
 

Address: 107A Canterbury Rd, Middle Park, VIC
 
 Phone: 03 9690 8831
 

 Mart 130 on Urbanspoon
 
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