We think there’s nothing better on a warm Summer morning than having a leisurely brunch and a big scoop of gelato. Sure, brunch is also enjoyable in Winter and it’s never too cold for ice cream, but ‘Summer’ translates to ‘holidays’ for us students, which means we can just relax and enjoy ourselves. No exams! Time to eat all the food!
Hammer & Tong
Hammer & Tong has all the ingredients for a great brunch experience: a nice atmosphere with friendly waiters, stylish modern decor, fresh chai (with latte art) and most importantly, beautiful food which also tastes good. Out of the three dishes we ordered the lavendar yoghurt custard was by far the prettiest, with fruit artfully arranged on top, but the crab crepe and crab burger also looked very appealing. Even the salt and pepper looked cute in little conical flasks.
The chai latte had a good amount of spices. Unfortunately the brewed tea flavour was quite weak, so once the honey was added to the drink it overpowered the flavour of the chai. We recommend drinking this without the honey.
Ani ~ As you can see, this was a really pretty dish. However, the “lavender yoghurt custard” looked and tasted exactly like yoghurt. I was a bit disappointed that I couldn’t even detect the lavender flavour. The yoghurt wasn’t sweet, but when combined with the fruit there was just the right amount of sweetness. The dollops of fruit gel were very flavoursome (strawberry, mango and pineapple flavours). Some of the berries were fresh but the apple slices, lychees and mandarin pieces were dried (or perhaps dehydrated?), and while a lot of dried fruit can be hard/crunchy/chewy, the dried fruit on this plate was soft and crumbled in my mouth. I ended up really enjoying the dish despite the lack of lavender/custard. I probably wouldn’t order it again since it’s essentially yoghurt and fruit for $19, but it’s definitely worth trying.
Wendy ~ The soft shell crab burger is very popular and I was excited to try it. It definitely lived up to its good reviews! The fried soft shell crab went extremely well with the brioche and the sauce (which tasted like wasabi mayonnaise). This is definitely something I could eat time and time again.
Wendy ~ Black bun burgers are starting to become more common these days, so when I saw the charcoal brioche on the menu I decided to finally give it a try. It really didn’t taste any different to normal brioche, but it added more visual appeal to an already well presented dish. The egg crepe tasted mostly of bean sprouts with a lack of crab flavour, and wasn’t nearly as good as the soft shell crab burger. The cucumber ketchup overpowered the other elements of the dish and its taste lingered for quite a while after the meal was finished.
Verdict: We would definitely come back here for more brunch. While all the food was well presented, some dishes tasted better than others. We look forward to trying more items on the menu to see how they compare.
Location: (rear) 412 Brunswick St, Fitzroy. You can get there from the city by taking tram 11 from Collins St. Their website is here.
N2 Extreme Gelato uses liquid nitrogen to make their gelato. They have more interesting flavours than you would find at most gelato stores and they frequently change their menu, so you’re basically garanteed to find something you like. When we visited their store they had a number of flavours that sounded good, but the oreo cheesecake one was definitely a standout. Oreos + cheesecake = perfect.
And sure enough the gelato tasted delicious! It had a lovely creamy texture and its flavour was enhanced by the crumbled oreo cookie bits. It also looked fantastic. Luckily we chose to share it between the two of us, because the serving size was quite big and the addition of both chocolate drizzle and chocolate ganache made the dish a bit too rich. The gelato was served with a cone which was dyed black, inspired by the trend of black burger buns.
Verdict: N2 has some great gelato flavours. With Gelato Messina not too far away, Fitzroy is the place to go for a good gelato fix.
Location: 329 Brunswick St Fitzroy. Their website is here.