Hammer & Tong is a stalwart of the Melbourne brunch scene. Long before other places started adding miso and kimchi to everything Hammer & Tong was already paving the way with cool and artfully plated Asian inspired options.
Even though I’m not usually one for cold drinks first thing in the day, I couldn’t do past the iced matcha latte when I saw that it was only 5 dollars. For whatever reason ice matcha lattes are usually pricier than their hot counterpart so in my eyes by ordering this I was somehow saving money. It arrived with two distinct layers of milk and matcha. It was rather pretty to look at, but I gave it a thorough stir before I remembered to take photos! This was fairly decent, it lacked a certain depth that really sets apart a good matcha latte, but for 5 dollars I’m not complaining.
The coffee art on the cappuccino was absolutely lovely. Although it did feel a bit strange to be drinking coffee and eating ramen at the same time.
I was happy to see that they had kept their most famous dishes, chief amongst them, the breakfast ramen and soft shell crab burger. Although the other options are always incredibly tempting, I can never go past the soft shell crab burger. When the burger arrived it was much bigger than I remembered. Not one to be easily deterred in a matter of minutes I polished off half of it. The soft buttery brioche bun and fried crab are lightened up with the slaw and coriander.
Sure, Ramen stores are popping up left right and centre these days, but nowhere else can you get a ramen quite like the breakfast ramen at Hammer & Tong. A perfect onsen tamago sits atop a bed of springy noodles. The broth is salty and has an interesting smoky taste from the spicy bacon pieces. After breaking into the egg the yolk coats the noodles and gives the broth a creamier more complex flavour that really makes the dish great.
It’s been a while since I last visited Hammer & Tong. It stands in my memories as one of the best Brunch options in Melbourne. I’m glad to say that after all these years and new brunch openings Hammer & Tong still stacks up. The main difference is that now they also offer matcha latte and there’s no longer any need to line up for a seat. If you haven’t been already now really is the perfect time to visit, or if you’ve already been maybe you’re due for a revisit.