With multiple diner awards, runner up for Best Restaurant in Clerkenwell, not to mention tons of fantastic reviews, prepare to be warmed up by Hammer and Tongs’ authentic wood-fired meats and barbecue.
Upon arriving, we were given a warm welcome by our server, Jana, and shown to a lovely corner table away from the bustle. Menus were accompanied by a thorough explanation of how they prepare their food, leaving us to wrack our brains over which of the many delights to choose from.
The drink of the night, Binary Botanical Ale, was different to any other alcohol I’ve had before. Mild yet fruity, the drink was light, sweet, and refreshing, a perfect
complement to the succulent cuts of meat served later on. No guilt from this drink either: Binary contains only 46 calories per glass, less than half of most other alcohols! We settled with the Surf and Turf Braai (suited for two to share) and enjoyed our drinks while waiting in anticipation.
The appetisers were served within minutes. The Cape Malay curry fish had a delicious vinegary kick which didn’t mask the naturally sweet-salty fish of the fish at
all. Coupled with well-cooked onions swimming in curried sauce, I couldn’t wait to see what the Biltong had in store for us. For those as clueless as I was, Biltong is a
type of cured, air-dried meat hugely popular in South Africa. It isn’t smoked like jerky is, and the beefy taste soon coats your mouth after a few bites. A great start to an even greater-tasting meal!
The gorgeous platter soon came and I was absolutely overwhelmed by each dish, meticulously presented for us to take in its full glory. The Tiger Prawn Sosatie (skewer) was perfectly cooked with just the right amount of salt and spices. Their dry roast chips were also unlike any ordinary potato wedges, staying crunchy and fragrant throughout the entire meal, a match made in heaven with the tarty onion sauce. The chicken wings were my next victims,ed and I ditch my fork and knife altogether to bite off every single centimetre of its juicy meat.
Furthermore, for a restaurant which prides itself on meat, they did a fantastic job with their couscous salad. Feta, butternut, rocket and more paired with a secret dressing, we practically licked the bowl clean. The star of the show, however, were the Curry Sheep Chops. Melting-in-your-mouth with the perfect meat-to-fat ratio, I would call it a sin to visit without having a bite (or many) of this.
For dessert, I highly recommend the Malva Pudding, soft yet dense and soaked in a buttery mixture. However, the vanilla ice cream lacked a
stronger vanilla taste as I’d have preferred.
I can safely say that the top-notch quality and warm atmosphere makes Hammer and Tongs well worth the trip down to satisfy your meat cravings, both for a romantic date and as a group. Just remember to go on an empty stomach!
Where is it? 171 Farringdon Road, London, United Kingdom, EC1R 3AL