Friends with Benefits- Food Review

What’s it going to take for us to get out of the house on these cold Melbourne Winter nights?

Friends with benefits.


Hammer and Tong. Letting chefs around Melbourne to call their kitchen home, during Wednesdays in the month of July. So, Christmas did decide to come early and being priced at only 70$ for a 4-course dinner, how could we not.

Opting for another Nieuw Amsterdam experience, date was set. 16th July. 7pm.



Hello Nick Stanton. (smiles and waves)


I wont dwell on menu names, but dish of the day for me was definitely that entrée of smoked fish, subtle hints of smokiness from the fish, contrasting against lightly pickled daikon, mustard seeds for ‘pop’ and (don’t quote me on this) but what I thought to be smoked mayo. Just delish.


Secondly, pork trotter nugget, apple, seared scallop and bourbon sauce. Similar to the one on the menu at Nieuw Amsterdam, but with a twist. Tender pork, panko crumbed, super crispy, wafer thin apple to counteract the fatty-ness and that translucent scallop and creamy sweet-ish but not too sweet sauce. Gimme more.

Unlike the entrée, the beef brisket, I found, didn’t come out smoking (no pun intended). Mine was tender but K’s was a little tough, and sinewy. Pickled carrot, diced pineapple and kimchi, it sort of plays with your taste buds. Sour, sweet, and sour, spicy and (a little overly) salty. To describe it was like eating dry kimchi jjiggae. But that carrot puree was silky, like literally baby’s ass smooth.


Smoky fish and smoky beef brisket didn’t cut it for me. That smokiness of the fish was so subtle and tasty, like the feeling of eating fish in a barn (in a good way), the brisket lacked that ‘Oh I’m in a barn’ feeling (if that makes sense).

And to, drum roll please, The Dessert.

Soft warm Waffle, salted caramel peanut cream, crunch of peanuts, waterfall of chocolate ganache, cheeky raspberry sorbet ‘smacks you in the face’ jolt of sourness poking its head in, and to top it all off, ala crack of dark chocolate. I would say, HEAVEN in ma mouth.


Being seated right in front of the pass, it was literally a show in front of our eyes. Running a kitchen is hard work, and for about the 50 of us seated their, it was a definite pleasure and wonderful experience. Hammer and tong has made its name as one of the go-to breakfast establishments in Melbourne and this time Nick Stanton, More than did them proud.

This post was brought to you by our dear friend and guest author Theothergrid, go check out her site and instagram

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