Sunday, November 24, 2013

Soft-Shell Sidewalker at Hammer & Tong

Been reading about some seriously good soft-shell crab burgers at Hammer & Tong 412 for some time now, and finally got around to popping by with Denise and Ed this past weekend. I anticipated a line since that's the theme for well-reviewed Melbourne cafes, but, nope. Right in to an empty four-top in front of the bar.

Hammer and Tong looks like any other trendy, modern Australian cafe. Exposed ceilings and or walls, lots of wood tones and quirky antique store decor – all that shit you come to expect in Melbz. I already knew what I was going to order when we rolled up, but I took to my normal role of coercing others to order my second choice. BTW, Charlie is an arm model.
Great success: both Charlie and Denise ordered the corn and zucchini fritters. Fried to a crispy, deep brown and moist and bready on the inside, these were accompanied perfectly by some fresh avo, grated manchego, tomato relish, spinach and a quivering poached egg. A substantial plate of food and a delicious brunch dish. Good portion for $17. Definitely filling.

But the crab sandwich stood out. A whole, crispy, meaty crab was embedded between soft brioche halves and paired with a juicy slaw and fresh cilantro. I don't like when cilantro stems get thrown in there because they're v. difficult to chomp in half, but otherwise this was a bangin' sandwich. Plus, it rang in at $16, which is less than the veggie corn and zucchini dish. Cheap seafood is my goal in life, yo. And, yes – i
t's taken only a few months for me to go from thinking that the $16 lobster roll on the streets of NYC was expensive to now thinking that a kind-of small crab on a sandwich for $16 is cheap. That might give you some perspective on the realities of living in Australia.

Hammer & Tong 412: Rear 412 Brunswick St., Fitzroy, Vic, 3065. 03 9041 6033
Hammer and Tong on Urbanspoon

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