Saturday, 14 September 2013

Bowery To Williamsburg

16 Oliver Lane 
Melbourne, VIC 

It’s not often I’m super excited about a new restaurant. Excited, yes; downright loony, no. But it would be an understatement to say that I’m pretty keen about Bowery and Williamsburg, ever since I found out that it is the brainchild of Will and Di, the geniuses behind Hardware Societe. I expected great things.

Just like Hardware Societe, Bowery to Williamsburg is hidden away down an easy-to-miss lane, but was given away by a gaggle of hungry diners. It’s a sandwich bar, but the likes of which that I’ve yet to see. If anything, it’s more stylish NYC cafe, crossed with quirky Melbourne brunch. 

It may be 11:30am, but that doesn’t mean the staff don’t know how to have fun. Whilst one counter is getting stocked up with tubs and jars of sandwich ingredients, the other one groaned under the weight of American cakes and pastries, nearly converting me to a dessert brunch instead. 

Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate ($5)

Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate ($5). It was pure sin, the dark chocolate mingling with nutty peanut butter, and capped off with a dense layer of foam. It even came with a mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, for those who aren’t satisfied with just drinking their peanut butter and chocolate. 

Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate ($5)

And note the funny looking cup! K and I debated whether or not this was a deliberately made hand-hold, or if it was just another sign that hobo-chic is in. Turns out neither of us were right; it was actually a tin cup specially designed to resemble a melting plastic cup – how clever!

Hot Smoked Salmon ($12.5)

Neither of us could resist the lure of the Hot Smoked Salmon ($12.5), which K ordered in a set that came with a side and a handful of pretzels for $4 extra. The torn salmon jammed between the excellent bread was fresh and tasty, flavoured with a creamy caviar cream cheese, small bursts of caper, and fresh slices of tomato and radish. 

Mac And Cheese

And the Mac and Cheese on the side was nothing to scoff at either. Crammed into a small jar, the classic American comfort food was piping hot and oozing with cheese, the pasta a toothsome al dente. We especially enjoyed scraping off the burnished, crispy pieces of cheese off the edge of the jar.

The Reuben ($12.5)

The Reuben ($12.5)

The Reuben ($12.5) is my idea of the perfect sandwich. The beef was layered so thick it was basically a steak, and the lashings of sauerkraut were drowned in a creamy and spicy Russian sauce, held together by gooey melted cheese. It was hot, meaty, tangy, cheesy, saucy, and between two slices of stellar bread – what more could you ask for?

Will and Di have proved, once again, that they know what’s up. They don’t re-invent the wheel, but they do come up with some ingenious variations of it. Serve that wheel in a cosy cafe for a reasonable price, and they’ve got a roaring trade on their hands. The small cafe can seat a fair 50 patrons, but once things really kick off, there’s always the take-away option. I know I’ll be back, repeatedly.

Rating: 15.5/20 – kickass sandwiches.

This rating reflects my personal experience at the time of visit. And how long the battery in my camera lasts.

Bowery to Williamsburg on Urbanspoon


  1. Wahhhh we were somewhat hesitant to try this place out but looking at your blog post has definitely put bowery to williamsburg on the list of places to go to!

    1. I'd definitely recommend going; I went back just yesterday and had the pastrami sandwich, and it was just as good as everything else... though my favourite is still the Reuben ;)