I first heard of NBHD Neanderthal through the blog sweet and sour fork, which I read religiously, and immediately added it to my list of places to go.
Last Sunday an opportunity to cross the river came around (us northerners don’t just drive across the Yarra for any old reason), and I decided to check out what it was all about.
The place bleeds manliness: metal, wood and testosterone. All the staff are men, all of which are doing Movember. They do chin ups on the stairs (they’ve started a competition if you’re keen to get your name up on the wall), and to top it off they have a nitro brew coffee which is poured from a tap like a beer.
The menu was somewhat the same; breakfast was pretty standard but did have some surprise items including a breakfast steak, while the lunch menu was a mixture of various sandwiches.
This was going to be a tough decision; I wanted to get their pulled pork bun, Reuben, steak sandwich and the Balmaine bug burger. I reluctantly narrowed it down to just the steak sandwich (medium) and Balmaine bug burger. Each sandwich comes with a salad, chips or onion rings, and I opted for the latter two.
I also decided to try their nitro brew which is served cold over ice. It was basically a fancy cold drip and would have much rather preferred to have had a second of their ghost blend long black (which was fantastic).
The food arrived about 20 minutes after we ordered. First up was the steak sandwich.
It was cooked perfectly to medium and looked fantastic. The flavours were great with the tartare sauce a revelation.
My only complaint overall on the sandwich was the tenderness of the steak, as it took a fair amount of bite to eat. The onion rings and chips were a fitting side served alongside a homemade bbq sauce which was tangy and delicious.
The Balmaine bug burger was unfortunately a little less memorable.
It had no defining flavour apart from the jalapenos and the milk brioche, and the meat itself was over battered and slightly tasteless.
I regretted not choosing the pulled pork at this stage.
I quite enjoyed Neanderthal and I think with a little fine tuning they’ll be a raving success.