Two Little Pigs Charcuterie and Grind is a brunch spot outside the usual foodie enclaves of Fitzroy or Richmond. It’s not far out of the city though, and easily accessible by tram. We hadn’t managed to make it there the last time we were in Melbourne, but managed to find a mealtime to visit this time.
It is unassuming from the outside, blending into the many other shopfronts along Sydney Road, apart from a large yellow sign that says coffee on one side and charcuterie on the other. Once through the door, we found ourselves in a room packed with people. The locals obviously know where the good stuff is.
The interior had painted white brick walls, making it both rustic and bright. A sunflower yellow pops up as accents on painted sections of wall, plates, and other little corners. Heaters hang up on the walls, good for the cool weather. I’m not sure what they do for summer though, as there were no fans or air conditioning to be seen. The counter has some piggy ornaments to remind you that it is the Two Little Pigs, likely so named for the two cousins who own it. There are meats on the counter and sausages hung up and drying across an archway, in keeping with it being a charcuterie.
There was a buzz from the crowd inside, and dance pop was playing at a good medium volume, the right level so that you didn’t have to strain to be heard. The seating is mostly wooden-topped tables fitting four, with a larger communal table for larger groups. There is also counter seating along the window. There are a couple more tables outside at the front of the cafe, but given the road traffic nearby and the stench of smokers who seem to hang around, I wouldn’t bother with them.
If you venture out to the back of the cafe, there is also outdoor seating in a courtyard area at the end of a covered walkway, like a little hidden oasis. Again, it is rather subject to the prevailing weather, so is better suited to some seasons than others.
In keeping with charcuterie side of it, serious meat knives made up part of the cutlery brought to the table. We were also brought menus and water soon after we took our seats.
We started with caffeine. The warmth indoors made iced lattes a reasonable choice despite the crisp bite of winter outside. The coffee was rich, almost bitter but not quite. It had a nutty, roasted richness, and cocoa flavours.
The menu has a good range of options. Despite calling themselves a charcuterie and grind, they offer more than sausages and preserved meats for food. While there is a section of charcuterie meats you can assemble a platter from, there are also other more typical breakfasty dishes like sweetcorn fritters, although even here a special twist is offered like the truffled snowpea tendrils, and the option to add wagyu pastrami. There are also tempting sweet options like hotcakes and waffles.
After a lot of going back and forth (very tempted by the sweet waffle option of Buttermilk waffles with roast pork belly, apple sorbet, and salted buterscotch sauce), we picked the Crackle Breakfast Burger and the Loaded Waffle.
The Crackle Breakfast Burger was roasted pork belly, chorizo, crackled egg, spinach, house made pickles, and mushroom bechamel on a toasted brioche bun. It came out as a neat little stack, presented on a wooden board. The bun was golden-brown, and toasted. In one mouthful, you got crunchy pork (they have perfected that), spicy and savoury chorizo, tartness from the pickle, and all of it tied together by creamy mushroom sauce with a hint of truffliness. The egg was a fried egg, with a bit of crunch from the fried edges. It was a delicious burger, if messy in the eating because of its height.
The Loaded Waffle was a BBQ pulled pork waffle with grilled cheddar, maple bacon pieces, pork crackle, spring onion, and house made maple BBQ sauce. The waffle was moist, soft, and actually cheesy. The pork belly skin was properly crunchy, and made a satisfying crack when struck. The pulled pork was moist and delicious without the need for sloppy sauce, which the meat often swims in elsewhere. Here, however, it comes from the meat having been braised in the herbs and spices so that it is actually infused with flavour. The cheddar cheese melted over the top gave it a slightly smoky flavour. Over it all was the BBQ maple syrup for contrasting sweetness. Again though, this was done in a restrained way, so you had a little punch of sweetness without it being cloying.
Service was fine. It was a busy morning. There wasn’t really anything dire or standout.
Two Little Pigs certainly knows their coffee and their meats, and has been named well as a charcuterie and grind. It is a place I would recommend for a good feed, particularly that Loaded Waffle. Perhaps not one for vegetarians..but omnivores will enjoy it.
Setting: 1/2 (it is a comfortable, homey interior, but the stench of cigarette smoke coming in from outside every time the door is opened is unpleasant, and no one needs that with their food.)
Price point: Charcuterie items $4 to $6, minimum three items per board. Other food items $14.90 to $20.90, excluding granola.
Value: Very good. It’s very tasty stuff.
Address: 146 Sydney Road, Brunswick
Phone: 03 9939 4042
Website: Two Little Pigs