To some, the humble grilled cheese toastie is just 2 slices of bread filled with dairy goodness. But to Felix and Justin Kong, it presented a world of opportunity and the chance to bring something different to the streets of Brisbane. It ain’t easy being cheesy, but the Melt Brothers are here to help. We caught up with them both to find out more.
Justin: From a young age, we’ve both loved working in the hospitality industry. I’ve worked in both the hospitality and event management industry since my uni days. I also took on some pretty challenging side projects such as opening Bean Café at 25 and Miss Kay’s at 27.
Felix: I started out working for Red Bull as their QLD Mentor for the Student Manager Program. After graduating I took on the role of Marketing Manager for Uber nightclub. Since then I’ve moved into the more corporate world and have worked in management consulting for the past 10 years. Our experiences over the last decade have given us both incredibly valuable experience and knowledge, that have allowed us to create something new and exciting like Melt Brothers.
Justin: We’re also old school club kids. I started out as a club promoter before creating my own event management company (which is still running today). I’ve also worked at tonnes of different bars, clubs and festivals that include Monastery, Boundary Hotel, The Fox and Future. Due to the success of my own events and thanks to various clients, I was able to open my own bar called ‘Our Place’ which is in Fortitude Valley.
where it all began
Felix: The inspiration for opening Melt Brothers was born from the need to put a new and innovative spin on a much-loved dish. Over the past 10+ years, we’ve seen various food crazes hit Australia.
Justin: Seriously… loads! First it was Dumplings, then Mexican followed by the American movement which included Doughnuts and Burgers. We both wanted to introduce Australia to something new and unique, but weren’t exactly sure what that was.
Felix: After a few research trips to LA and NY, we saw a big trend around Grilled Cheese Sandwiches. After tasting the myriad of options around both cities, it was clear that this was something that could work back in Australia.
Justin: Everyone’s enjoyed a good ol’ toastie before but no one has really given it a new spin. That’s where we come in. We wanted to bring it back but this time with crazy ingredients, combinations and flavours added to it. Think toasties on roids… Melt Brothers is all about the flavour, speed, service and consistency.
Felix: It’s hard to recommend just one dish for people to try. We’d have to go with a top 3: The MC Cheesy which is loaded with Mac & Cheese, The BFC full of mouthwatering Buttermilk Fried Chicken…
Justin: …and for those with a sweet tooth we highly recommend DEM BUNS. It’s a toasted sweet bun with vanilla ice-cream, Nutella spread and hundreds and thousands.
Justin: If we were doing this 10 years ago, I think we’d tell ourselves to not take life too seriously. You’re not going to know exactly what you want to do straight out of uni
Felix: It’s true. Take the time with what you’re doing and don’t be afraid to try new things. Do what you love and never give up!
Justin: Nowadays we’re always connected. You’ll rarely see us without our phones and laptops…
Felix: …and our chargers for both. Although once we’re home from work it’s all about walking the dog before heading to the gym.
the first bite
Justin: Our earliest memory of food would have to be a refreshing glass of cold MILO
Felix: It’s so synonymous with Australian childhood you couldn’t not love it.
Felix: If we were to open Melt Brothers up for a dinner party I think we’d have to invite Phil Knight, Michael Jordan and Gary Vaynerchuk. These guys are the epitome of world business leaders. The conversations you’d hear at this dinner party would be priceless.
Justin: Definitely. It would be an honour to hear stories about how they handled their ups and downs throughout their respective professions and how they always managed to believe in themselves and their products, even when it may have proved difficult to do so.
Felix: It would be awesome to seek their guidance on various life questions. There would be no problem these guys couldn’t solve. In terms of what we’d eat I doubt we’d have any say in the matter, but if I had to choose it would definitely be a delicious toasted grilled cheese sandwich (probably the In Da Club), some loaded tater tots and a refreshing Stone & Wood.
Take your first bite of foodora here.