Hammer & Tong have certainly been going at it - judging by the line of queueing brunchers when I arrived mid-Saturday morning. They're proving quite popular with the Fitzroy crowd, which is no mean feat. I decided to see what the fuss was about, and was served up a really well-balanced Long Mac, which sat nicely on the edge of acidity and smoothness. Duke's coffee put to good use. I always appreciate baristas who get temperature exactly right. The food menu is very appealing, with not a single entry defaulting to Melbourne standards, staples instead twisted into truly unique dishes. I had the famed Ox cheek Benedict, and the combination of flavours was brilliant. In the long, no-nonsense fit out, you'll be best finding a table up the back with the wide Windows and wall features; the front half near the entry is a little cold and utilitarian. Staff were friendly and helpful, if not overly attentive. Overall I say this is a worthy entry to the Brunswick St lineup, and I'll be back to try out their other enticing food options, and to sample some of their filter and cold brews this summer.
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