Hammer and Tong 412

I had been stalking the urbanspoon website one Thursday afternoon, when this little number came up as number 4 in the Talk of the Town section. Given my thirst for always being up to date and in the know, I was quick to set a date with a friend from work and reserve a table for two that night.

I should know this by now; finding a park in Fitzroy around dinner time is as complex as parking can get - but everyone knows its because this is the place to be.
Upon entering, the waiter showed us to our seats and kindly requested to take our jackets and hang them up for us while we studied the menu. I usually like to save my calories for the food, so my usual drink order is a glass of water - however it was difficult to look past the house-made soft drinks menu - and with Turkish Delight being listed as one of the flavours? I had to give it a try!

House-made Turkish Delight soft drink
K went for the Tropicana flavour, and after tasting hers, I immediately regretted my decision. I felt the Turkish Delight lacked in the sweetness and intensity of flavour that the Tropicana more than made up for, and my consensus was that one of my favourite chocolates simply could not be replicated in a soft drink form.

Pumpkin and paneer fritters

The menu is made of a series smaller portioned dishes that are designed to be shared, so the general rule of thumb is to order a few different meals on the menu - always a plus in my books!
We started off the night with a pumpkin and paneer fritter each. I love pumpkin. And deep-fried in light spices and paneer cheese? An absolute winner! I had to eat it with my fork and knife to keep myself from gobbling it all up at once in a fit of hunger.

Fisherman's pot pie, with a side of threefold quinoa salad and chat potatoes with sour cream
And finally it was time for dinner! I could hardly wait, given how delicious the starter was I had no doubts the dinner would blow me away just the same. It certainly did. Our failed attempted at splitting the pot pie in two resulted in the deliciously crunchy, baked-to-perfection pot pie crust crumbling into pieces - it was never going to be a very glamorous feasting session anyway, so we ended up using our hands along with our forks to pick away at the crusty edges, and then dip them into the creamy crab chowder hidden underneath the beautiful crust.
The chat potatoes were my ideal bite size - soft and tender, and complemented perfectly with a tasty dollop of cool sour cream.
Finally, the salad - to balance out our carbohydrate-fuelled meal with some fibrous grains and deliciously seasoned greens. The potent mint lime dressing definitely transformed this otherwise ordinary side salad into a mini meal of its own.

Despite the smaller portions, we were stilled filled up to satisfaction and had to give dessert a miss! Our 2 course meal and drinks ended up costing $52 all up.
With innovative breakfast/brunch, and dinner menus at perfectly reasonable prices, super friendly and non-intrusive staff, and chic and stylishly alternative restaurant design and location, it's definitely worth another shot - perhaps for breakfast next time!

Hammer and Tong 412
412 Brunswick Street,
Fitzroy VIC 3065

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