NBHD Neanderthal

153 Commercial Road, South Yarra 3141
Date visited: 2nd November 2013

NBHD (neighbourhood) Neanderthal is a fairly new specialty cafe in South Yarra but has already been rapidly gaining popularity in Melbourne's brunch scene.  MerlinFan and I had been eager to visit ever since we learnt of the Nitrogen Cold Brew.  But more about that later.

It was around noon when we arrived this gorgeous Saturday morning, so the cafe was not yet full and we could pick between sitting inside, upstairs or outside.  There was not a cloud in the sky so it was a no brainer.

Interior with exposed brick walls
We went out the back via a street graffiti-ed corridor into the sunny courtyard.

We sat right beside the Neanderthal Coffee chart.  Ingeniously tempting.

Bike at back of the courtyard
We both had to try Australia's first Nitro Cold Brew.  It was nitrogen charged cold brew coffee served from an actual beer tap in a tall glass over ice.  You could have it black, white (full, skinny or soy milk) or gomme (sugar syrup).

Nitro Cold Brew $8
The coffee was really light, floral and fruity with barely detectable bitterness or acidity.  And you could add milk or sugar syrup to your liking.  MerlinFan also commented there was a slight bite, almost like soda coffee.  =D  I reckon even non-coffee drinkers might even like this one.  A really refreshing spring-summer drink.

MerlinFan and I were starving, so in our usual fashion we decided to order two dishes to share.  Little did we know, the portion sizes here were huge.

We could not get pass the Slow Braised Lamb Shanks.

Lamb Shanks $18
The lamb shanks were juicy and super tender.  A pinch of salt made it perfect.  Thumbs up for the twin shanks too.  The mash was creamy and delicious, went nicely with the beef jus, pistachio crumble and salty persian fetta.

Our second choice was the Reuben.

Reuben $14
I loved the presentation on the wooden board and how the reuben was sliced in half for easy eating (and sharing).  The crunchy sourdough bread was heavily loaded with thick slabs of flavoursome home made corned beef, tangy fresh sourkrout, swiss cheese, hot American mustard and pickles.  Yummy chips too.

MerlinFan and I enjoyed our Nitro Cold Brews, so we decided to go for a second round.  

Latte (back), Espresso (front)
I had their house blend, Proud Mary's Brazil & Ethiopian in a latte.  It was slightly chocolatey with a fruity, plum flavour.  MerlinFan had the Guatamalen in an espresso.  The flavour was of toffee, chocolate, raisins with sweet spices and a buttery mouthfeel.  I asked MerlinFan what she thought of her espresso, and she said it was so strong and hot it was akin to tequila of the coffee world.  LOL, WTF does that mean.

Overall, this is a place where you can get addicted to caffeine and even MerlinFan who's not the frequent coffee drinker (gives her anxiety) was tempted to have a second one.  Also friendly, knowledgeable staff and huge man-size portions for big appetites or sharing.

NBHD Neanderthal on Urbanspoon

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