Hammer & Tong | Industry Beans
Hammer & Tong
As promised, this week’s brunch series will cover cafes in the (hipster) district of Fitzroy. I’ve been pretty out of the loop with food places lately, so these venues were suggested by Fakegf (The Hangry Bitch), who’s a lot more in tune with what’s going on in Melbourne food-wise. I seriously feel like I’ve been living in a cave this year!
I think it was Ashley (I’m So Hungree) who alerted us about this new café, which has taken over the wonderful (but shortlived) Brix of Fitzroy. I have to admit that recommendations aside, the very name of the place makes me want to visit it. Surprising how words (and its imagery) can have such an impact.
Quite a bit of the exterior and interior fittings have remained the same, and the space has retained its open but cosy feel. Fakegf and I brunched here as part of our delightful Tuesday brunch ritual. Even though we now don’t work at the same place, I’m glad we still have the same weekly off day to do this!
housemade turkish delight fizz 3.0 | piccolo 3.8
Fakegf loves roses in her sweets, so the homemade turkish delight fizz caught her fancy. It was actually very nice, with smooth rounded tones of almost milky rosewater. Meanwhile, I had a pick-me-up coffee (by Dukes Espresso), it tasted a bit sharp.
english muffins w poached eggs, istra bacon, black pepper, hollandaise & spinach $17
Brunch arrived soon after.
Somehow, the menu description for this dish just read so appealingly that I ordered it. What arrived was (quite simply) a very generous serve of a classic American dish – Eggs Benedict.
It was good.
truffled duck egg on toast, parmesan & grilled asparagus $18
More in tune with this year’s food happenings (via food blogs and Instagram), Fakegf already knew what she wanted…
Her dish was excruciatingly gorgeous! Look at how the dark orange duck egg yolk spilled… and the aroma of truffles kept wafting over to me. For the umpteenth time this year, I had brunch envy. Next time I’m brunching, I’m going zoom right for the dish containing truffles.
I really like the space here and we had a good brunch session, especially Fakegf’s choices. They’re also open for dinner on Thursdays to Saturdays, which I heard from Ashley is worth going for as well!
We brunched at Industry Beans on another Tuesday. This time we had a little furry companion with us, nicknamed the sausage, it’s Fakegf’s adorably friendly doggie. The bright and open front courtyard at Industry Beans was a perfect setting for little poochy visitors.
Single origin piccolo – Sitio Canåa, Brazil
My sip of Fakegf’s single origin piccolo tasted well made, but it somehow held hints of a diesel engine-like finish. Maybe the beans are processed differently. All that said, Fakegf tells me her partner (The Angmoh) has had the pourover here and it was very good.
I went safer and ordered a chai, which leant towards the mild and milky side. I got quite excited about the transparent servingware though.
Grilled Polish Ham Sandwich 13.0
With scotch soaked fig & onion jam, blue cheese & a balsamic glaze
The menu at Industry Beans is quite big with unusual dishes like Oolong tea salad, brioche bunny burger, and beetroot rosti. Fakegf, however, chose a simple ham sandwich, which came with a delightful serve of sweet potato crisps. She enjoyed the presence of fresh figs but I think the sandwich would’ve been nicer if it came toasted.
Egg Net Omelette 17.0 Light & crispy omelette served with house cured salmon, chard, lemon thyme, Spanish onion & sweetened beetroot relish
I wasn’t feeling that adventurous that day and chose a safe-sounding omelette. But my dish turned out quite different, the omelette was served as an egg wrap with cured salmon and veggies inside.
The salad in the filling had sprigs of raw onion in it, which made things a bit too pungent. I didn’t warm to the house cured salmon either, which tasted like it was marinated with coffee and (too much) soya sauce. This dish was a bit of a let down for me.
Not all brunches go smoothly, and sadly I did not really enjoy what I had at Industry Beans. But I shouldn’t cast judgement on a venue just from one visit. The menu there is pretty big and there’s scope for more dish sampling. I might come back to try the oolong tea salad on a day where I’m feeling more adventurous.