There’s been a lot of talk about pop up food trucks recently and how delicious their food is. Hammer and Tong’s food trucks have quite literately given people some food for thought on what a great idea these food trucks are. Naturally businesses expand, and what better place to showcase your food than at one of Melbourne’s trendy bars.
So enter Tanked, Hammer And Tong’s latest food venture and partnership with South Yarra bar Less Than Zero. I had heard a lot about Hammer and Tong and their great food; I had also heard of Less Than Zero, whose name intrigued me, being a reference to Bret Easton Ellis’s notorious debut novel Less Than Zero about corrupt youth living out their hedonistic lifestyles in the seedy bars and nightclubs of Los Angeles. It’s one of my favourite novels, so when I got the invitation to check out both the food and this bar, there was no way in hell I was saying no. And boy, am I glad I went.
I got there at 6:50pm as the party started at 6:30pm, expecting to be one of the earlier guests to arrive, but the place was already packed by the time I got there. It was obvious thanks to all these people that there was a lot of hype about the food, and all these people can’t possibly be wrong. This made the place crowded, but in a good way; it adds to the excitement. There was a lot of buzz about the place that was infectious and made you feel like you were in the “in crowd”.
Though naturally the atmosphere here was buzzing, it really went up once the food started being served. Many waiters had to hold the food high up in the air just to through the crowd, and always had to wait for people to take photos of the food, both professional photographers and people with their mobiles. (We really do live in the age of Instagram.) The likes of mini burgers, chicken, smoked chicken, barbecue brisket, and smoked lamb shoulder were on offer, and boy was it yummy. Let me tell you, it certainly didn’t tank (sorry, I couldn’t help myself).
Tanked owner Andrew Ward explained to me that when he contacted Less Than Zero about going into business with Hammer And Tong, the kitchen wasn’t being used at all, it was just an empty room taking up space. Andrew convinced Less Than Zero’s owners to let him fix up the kitchen by putting in all the cooking equipment it needed and let his chefs cook up some tasty snacks for its patrons to eat while guzzling down their drinks. Naturally, both Hammer and Tong and Less Than Zero will make money off the food, so it’s a win-win situation.
So if you’re looking for a great feed while having a few drinks in ritzy South Yarra, you can’t go past Tanked, it’s simply great.
153 Commercial Road, South Yarra
Every Thursday-Monday nights, 5pm-11pm
Originally published here at milkbarmag.com on Friday 6 February 2015