The Hardware Societe
120 Hardware Lane, Melbourne Vic 3000
Phone: (03) 9078 5992
I have heard many people raving about Hardware Societe and that it is the ‘IT’ place to go for brunch on weekends in Melbourne! Of course, as a foodie, it is my obligation to verify this fact! When J and I arrived at HS’s doorsteps a little after 12, there was already a long queue ahead of us. I went up to the owner and got my name down; I was told that I am in for a good 15 minutes wait in the cold rainy weather. Brrrrrrr. Oh well, I am definitely willing to hold for some highly anticipated indulgence.After waiting for just 5 minutes, my name was called and we were shown to a long table inside HS, near the entrance to the small kitchen. We were sharing with 5 or 6 other patrons, if I am not wrong. I must admit that it was kind of cramped and uncomfortable? Shortly after receiving our menu, we were asked what we would like to drink before placing our orders.
I ordered an iced chocolate which came in a huge cup and large scoops of vanilla icecream! Yum. I love those ‘real’ chocolate bits blended in and giving it a variety of textures on the palate, instead of just sucking on a smoothie.
Even though the menu was rather limited, we were still spoilt for choice! Upon the recommendation from the waitress, we decided to go with the popular Baked Eggs with Chorizo, Tomatoes and Spinach @ $16. It took quite a while for the baking to be done in the small kitchen (everything is being prepared and made on the spot to ensure the freshness and satisfaction of the customers!). When we were finally presented with our orders, J and I were already ‘starving’ and we dug in straightaway. I was overwhelmed by the powering flavours and seasoning used (as my loyal readers, you guys should know that I ain’t a big fan of strong flavoured food!). I know it was something different but I actually expected better quality/presentation of the food from this much talked about cafe. The tiny pots looked adorable on the outside but the moment I opened the lid, the inside was a mess!! >.< (After consulting several pictures from other bloggers on the same dish, I think ours looked like a rush job and every ingredient was just dumped into it and served.) The eggs were a tad too dry; chorizo was all right not too salty like any other dishes that I have tried so far but still a bit hard; the tomatoes provided a zesty twist to the dish; spinach merely gave a balance of colours and the cheese melted in the tiny pot, gelled everything together lightly. In addition, the baguette on the side drizzled with olive oil tasted great on its own and when it was dipped into the pot, although they were slightly tougher than normal. @.@ However, I reckon the portion should be enlarged a little for the price?
With expectations, most cafes seem to fall short in my humble opinion. Even though the food might not be top notch here, the wait staff was courteous and attentive, making the dining experience much more enjoyable. On a side note, HS is no longer making their own macarons! T_T The owner advised me to head down to La Belle Miette to get my fix as with the increasing number of customers, they are not able to cope with preparing and making so many things on site when they are already busy in the kitchen at 5 in the morning!