It’s time to party with Harvarti and make life better with cheddar! Brisbane now has its own café dedicated to gourmet toasties, so you’d better get bready. These grilled cheese goodies are going to Roquefort your world.
Melt Brothers serves up 10 different toasties, from a classic three-cheese to the decadent New Yorker, which is stuffed full of pastrami, sauerkraut, Reuben sauce, pickles and American cheese. Another favourite is the Holy Cheezus, which seems fittingly named – with its smoked ham, tomato chutney and Havarti cheese, after one bite you’ll swear you’ve seen the face of God.
And then there are the sides – tater tots, which you can have by themselves, smothered with cheese sauce, or loaded into your toastie. Taters gon’ tate, but we’re having all three. You know, to really cover off all the main food groups.
It sounds almost too gouda to be true, and we raise a toast to owner Felix Kong for making it happen. We had a chat to him to find out more.
Hi Felix, thanks for taking the time to chat to us. Can you tell us a bit about your background?
I’ve been lucky enough to work in many industries throughout my career. After graduating from uni with a degree in finance, I’ve had the pleasure of working in the hospitality industry for over five years. I worked at and managed various clubs and bars, and after that, I worked in sales and events at Bretts Wharf alongside celebrity executive chef Alastair McLeod. Having achieved all of the goals I had set for myself during my time in hospitality, I decided that it was finally time to bite the bullet and transition into the corporate world. From there, I embarked on a five-year journey as a management consultant where I had the opportunity to work on various large scale projects for companies such as Qld Health, QR National, Port of Brisbane, WICET, the Malaysian Government, just to name a few.
What inspired you to dedicate your work to the beloved toastie?
Over the past two years, I have been blessed to be able to travel to a lot of different countries. Being a lover of food, I made it a mission to visit as many food eateries as I possibly could. One particular food offering that was uber successful in the States was grilled cheese sandwiches. People were lining up 20 deep for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It was then that I got inspired to bring the beloved toastie back to the Australian food scene!
What goes into making the perfect toastie?
It’s a combination of a few key elements:
- The type of bread. You don’t want it to be too crusty as it’ll cut the inside of your mouth, nor do you want it too fluffy as it won’t crunch up the way you want it to. This is why we use a beautiful white sourdough loaf.
- The type of cheese. There are a myriad of different cheeses that you can use on a toastie, some melt well, some don’t. You need to make sure you understand the chemistry of how cheese melts and why that affects the way that it tastes when grilled between two pieces of bread.
- Timing/temperature. Take the toastie out too soon or don’t have your panini grill hot enough, and the bread won’t be crunchy enough and the cheese won’t be melted all the way through. Take it out too late or have your grill too hot and you’ll have yourself a burnt toastie.
What kinds of toastie varieties can patrons expect on the menu?
At Melt Brothers, we pride ourselves on our creativity. Our patrons can expect 10 different types of toasties on offer, ranging from our classic three-cheese (aka The Mouse Trap) to our pulled pork offering (aka The Meltdown). There’s also our beloved brekkie option, the Morning Glory (with two fried eggs, maple bacon, cheddar cheese and Sriracha mayo). We also have other mouth-watering options such as M.C. Cheesy (mac & cheese with maple bacon), The BFC (buttermilk fried chicken, buffalo sauce, aged cheddar cheese with homemade slaw) and The Godfather (our take on a classic pizza-inspired toastie) just to name a few…
Will you be serving up anything other than toasties?
We serve tater tots and loaded tater tots (tater tots with our homemade seasoning, covered in liquid cheese sauce, crispy bacon bits and spring onions) as our sides. We also serve a dessert item called DEM BUNS (which is a toasted sweet bun, Nutella, ice cream and 100 & 1000s). It’s absolutely addictive!
What advice would you give to someone aspiring to open their own business?
Do your research! Make sure you invest enough time to carry out your due diligence before you dive headfirst into launching your business. Be patient and don’t let your emotions get in the way of making a smart business decision.
Where else in your area do you like to go for a great meal?
It really depends on what type of food I’m craving at the time. If it’s a burger, my top three are Miel Container, Miss Kay’s and Ben’s Burgers. If it’s Thai, my favourite would have to be Longtime. For Vietnamese, I’d venture to Hello Please in Southbank. If it’s Italian, I can’t go past our local favourite: The Purple Olive on James Street. For Chinese, my go-tos are definitely Happy Boy in Spring Hill and Coffee Square in Sunnybank.
You can find Melt Brothers at Shop 1, Gresham Lane, Brisbane. For more information (and mouth-watering photos of cheesy goodness), head to their Facebook page.
Image credit: Melt Brothers