What little things make you smile?
Maybe it's a ray of sunshine through a window. Flowers on your desk. Your dear pet greeting you as you get home.
For me, other than watching my dog flop on his back when he's extremely comfortable, I'm finding that there's something about Rear 412 Brunswick Street that always puts me in a good mood. Once upon a time it was the Brix Bistrot and Cafe, that had captured my heart, imagination and taste buds, but now it's home to Hammer and Tong 412.
The decor is familiar, as much of it is fairly unchanged. Thank goodness for that as the space is really so beautiful to me.
The sun room at the back makes for the perfect laid back breakfast. Spacious, white painted brick, the space breathes of light.
It's kind of crazy, but I'm absolutely in love with how the crockery matches the table. There's something so soothing and elegant about the cool blue grey, especially when there's a warm golden coffee contrasting against it. I'm a visual girl, this stuff switches me on.
A warm and spicy chai, always warms my heart.
But it's not just about the looks right? How's the food? How's the service?
Hammer and Tong 412 has a much more low key feel to it than Brix did. Friendly staff, smiles and small chit chat. You know who the regulars are, but the newbies get the same kind of love.
The food is unpretentious, and more of all day eatery, rather than something for special occasions. However, there is still plenty of creativity, the breakfast menu sporting some intriguing, and tempting, offers such as coconut black rice pudding with mango, buttermilk pancakes with blueberries and popping candy ice-cream and truffled duck eggs.
However, for Brad, it's hard to sway him too far from a baked egg. At Hammer and Tong, the baked eggs come in a tomato fondue, with chorizo, manchego and flatbread.
Fondue you say? It is rather aptly named, as it is a gooey, cheesy, naughty mess of hearty deliciousness. Yeah, stick your flat bread in that and swirl it all around. You won't regret.
As for me, it's hard for me to go past the corn fritters, here they are spiced and served with avocado, sour cream, smoked tomatoes and a poached egg (although you can have it fried too).
Sitting on a pretty and leafy bed, these were crunchy, and loaded up with corn and spices (cumin really came through). I really enjoyed how much more flavour these had to a typical corn fritter. Do I dare say they're better than St Ali's (which I personally like)? Perhaps…perhaps I might…
The avocado and sour cream really added a nice light contrast to the heavy flavours of the fritter, all in all a beautifully balanced dish.
After our meal, we just sat back and let the cafe buzz around us for a bit. There was just such comfortable atmosphere, which made one just want to linger on a little longer...I apologise for the lack of words, but there are some places I visit that words do no justice to explain the quiet and contented purring somewhere in my being.
Hammer and Tong 412
Rear 412 Brunswick Street
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