Saturday, 12 October 2013

NBHD Neanderthal

153 Commercial Rd
South Yarra, VIC 3141

Melbourne is swimming with brunch options, but if you’re a single bloke with a bunch of mates, you’re not so lucky. After all, brunch is very much a ladies and couples domain – but not anymore. Dax, a self-proclaimed ratbag from Byron Bay, made his way down to Melbourne some months prior, and opened up NBHD Neanderthal – a brunch spot for the Neanderthal in all of us. 

NBHD stands for neighbourhood, and that is an apt name indeed. Opened with the help of his family and friends, the restaurant is littered with everything from personal knick-knacks on the shelves, to entire walls of photographs of their nearest and dearest.

Perhaps most interesting of all though, is the stairs covered in names with tallies next to them. ‘It actually started one night a couple days after we opened, where me and a few mates got quite drunk’, reminisced Dax fondly. ‘We started doing pull-ups on the stairs here, and it became a bit of a thing from then on’. 

Whilst it’s a great cafe, sourcing their produce locally (from the grocer two doors down), and roasting their own beans on-site, NBHD is also unmistakably, a grown-up boys’ clubhouse. With a bar downstairs, a (free) pool table upstairs, and a beer garden out back (that’s Dax’s very own motorbike), this is definitely designed as a place to chill with some mates. And your dog too, if you’d like – NBHD is the first dog-friendly cafe I’ve ever come across, where the canines are greeted just as enthusiastically as the Neanderthals.  

Nitrogen Cold Brew ($8)

‘You’ve got to try our Nitrogen Cold Brew ($8) coffee!’ exclaimed Dax, as he drew us up a tall glass from the beer tap. Coloured almost like iced tea, this golden brew is charged with nitrogen and argon before being pumped out through a beer tap, cutting out all the bitterness and leaving behind a light, floral fragrance. Served refreshingly over ice with a dash of milk and sugar syrup, I had to refrain myself from chugging the entire thing down. 

Hot Chocolate ($4.5)

Forever the non-coffee-drinker, Chris had himself a Hot Chocolate ($4.5). This was the only let-down of the day. Whilst the milk was creamy and the chocolate dark and fragrant, there just simply wasn’t enough of that rich, sweet cocoa hit. 

Salmon on Rye ($16)

Having just been to the gym, I wanted something light and healthy, so I chose the unassumingly-named Salmon on Rye ($16). And received this towering, colourful beauty. 

Salmon on Rye ($16)

This was a generously portioned classic done well. The eggs were oozing, the bread was crunchy, and the folds of salmon oily and salty. Padded out with some ricotta and spinach, and drizzled with a berry-red beetroot hollandaise, this is one wholesomely delicious brunch. 

Steak Sandwich ($14)

Chris’ Steak Sandwich ($14) was perfection. The scotch fillet was juicy and tender with cheese melting into its crevices, its flavour augmented with creamy, tangy tartar sauce. We savoured every bite, and unanimously agreed that it was the best steak sandwich we’ve had. 

Steak Sandwich with Onion Rings ($14)

Every sandwich on the lunch menu is served with your choice of onion rings, hand cut fries, or mixed leaf salad. And whilst my conscience twinged a little with guilt, I couldn’t say no to the lure of onion rings. Fried until they’re a crisp pale gold, these light, fragrant rings were gorgeous dipped in generous amounts of the house BBQ sauce made with bourbon.

NBHD Neanderthal really sets itself apart from the other cafes around, but it’s no secret how they do it. All it takes are good prices, great food, and some of the warmest hospitality I have ever experienced.  I’m just going to come out and say it – this has been the best brunch we have had all year. We absolutely adore your steak sandwich, your cafe, and you, Dax – we’ll be back!

Rating: 15.5/20 – brunch with the boys.
This rating reflects my personal experience at the time of visit.
Sweet and Sour Fork dined as a guest of NBHD Neanderthal.

NBHD Neanderthal on Urbanspoon


  1. Gotta love a good brunch! The food looks so fresh ~! :) keep in touch

    Joyce @

    1. Hi Joyce, thanks for dropping by! NBHD is absolutely great, the food is generous and delicious, highly recommended