Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Hardware Societe

120 Hardware Lane, Melbourne, 03 9078 5992

I go out for breakfast most weekends, sometimes even twice. Living in Fitzroy, I'm lucky enough to be surrounded by amazing places to have breakfast. Yet, somehow, other than eating a McMuffin at McChucks, I've never actually ventured into the city on the weekend for a proper breakfast.

My first venture into the world of CBD breakfasts was last weekend at The Hardware Societe. I'd heard about this place simply from the constant chatter about it from fellow Twitter peeps. The guys from Hardware Societe are also Twitterers themselves.

The Hardware Societe sits amongst many other restaurants on the famous Hardware Lane strip that like to talk the talk, but cannot walk the walk. Refreshingly, The Hardware Societe can not only walk the walk, but they tap dance all over the faces of those other 'wannabe' restaurants along Hardware Lane!

The cafe is decked out with lots of Yellow, which I'm a huge fan of. If you saw my bedroom, you'd see what I mean! I'm very jealous of their bright yellow bare bulb lights. Despite being a little overused these days, the replica Eames chairs they have chosen are always a safe bet for looks and comfort.

Now, I'm not a coffee drinker, so I was very excited to see my favourite tea in prime position on the tea menu - French Earl Grey. Not enough cafes put interesting teas on their menu, so it's great to see here! Also, they use Tea Cosies on their tea pots! Em' will go to a cafe JUST because they use Tea Cosies. Very cool.

A quick look at the breakfast menu and you know that The Hardware Societe isn't your standard Bacon and poached eggs breakfast place. The menu is interesting, seasonal, different, which makes it very, very difficult to make a decision as to what to order.

What caught both my eye and Em's were our childhood favourite - Boiled eggs with Soldiers. Whilst you might find eggs with soldiers on many a cafe menu, none that I've ever seen have been served like this!

Each of the three toasts served with the boiled eggs have their own delicious little topping.
First was White Asparagus with Blue Cheese. Awesome! Everybody knows egg goes perfectly with asparagus and the Blue cheese was the perfect little seasoning to go with it.
Second was Salmon Tartare with little baby capers.
Third from memory was Roasted Tomato with crispy Pancetta. The tomato was deliciously sweet and the Pancetta perfectly salty. Wow.

Eating this baby is a bit of a challenge - well for me anyway. I wasn't exactly sure where to even start with this one. I went with taking the top off the perfectly soft boiled eggs with my knife and scooping out the insides of the eggs and adding them to the tops of the little toasted soldiers.
A little messy, but lots and lots of fun! It bought back lots of childhood memories of eggs and soldiers. At least this time most of it ended up in my mouth and not thrown across the table at my little sister when I was a kid!

This is by far the most interesting, imaginative and fun breakfast I've had in ages. I'm looking forward to heading into the city on weekends for many more breakfasts at The Hardware Societe. Hopefully I can get down there at lunchtime during the work week also, because reading their tweets, the lunches sound absolutely amazing! How many lunch places in the city have snails as a special? If you haven't been to The Hardware Societe, you should definately check it out - it's a refreshing change to all of the warehouse-esque cafes of Fitzroy and Collingwood, etc.


Rambling Tart said...

Wow! I love it! :-) Fantastic ingredients and quirky little details.

Ashley said...

I love the place because of all the yellow too! ;]

I find myself there probably once a week, but I'm never there early enough for breakfast! Looks fab though!

penny aka jeroxie said...

Looks so good. Been hearing good things and I am glad that they open on Sat for brekkie now. I love the tea cosies!

Jetsetting Joyce (MEL: HOT OR NOT) said...

Gorgeous photos! I am *still* waiting to find a time to try it! Seems every food blogger has gotten there before me.

Jetsetting Joyce

Reemski said...

I really enjoyed my breaky there. Wish they had a Sydney outpost!

Rachel said...

Please pardon my nosiness, but how did you manage to take such lovely photos in the cafe?

You see, I've had friends telling me that the owners are not very camera-friendly and consequently, they've been asked to put theirs away.

Adski said...

Hey Rachel, thanks for the compliment. nobody mentioned me using my camera in there. However, I'm not sure if they actually saw me taking photos or not.
The owners there are lovely and I can't imagine them minding too much. Especially since the way I heard about Hardware Societe was purely through electronic media.

Libby said...

Been meaning to check this place out but never woke up early enough to fit duck into before work, hence why I was so glad to read that they did Saturday breakfasts. Looking forward to trying those toast soldiers + eggs!

Adski said...

@Libby: The toast soldiers are awesome! Such a fun breakfast to eat. Get messy with it! :)

Rachel said...

Hi Adski, thanks for your reply! I'm looking forward to checking it out now :D

Anonymous said...

Hi its Di from THS, the only issue we have with cameras are people photographing the menu, which we do not like. Otherwise when customers complain because people are taking photos of them - YES that happened today! Thanks, Di

Anonymous said...

I like the atmosphere there and the staffs are very friendly as well as remember their regular customers order.
I went for breakfast twice and once for afternoon tea, food was fantastic.
I am regular for hot chocolate, this is the only place that I go for hot chocolate apart from max benner, lindt and le petit gateux.
As for the price, hardware societe's hot chocolate is value for money with the good quality chocolate and a small doughnut if you buy in the morning.
I heard the coffee is good too but i am not a coffee drinker so i can comment on that.

I have not try their new breakfast menu, but i heard from my sista and her friend, the soldier menu is delicious too.

I can't wait to go there again for breakfast tomorrow

Adski said...

@Di: People are taking photos of other people? That's weird! Maybe it's not only your cafe that's cool and worth blogging, but so are the people that frequent there? :) ...and understandable about not allowing people to take photos of the menu. Although, technically I did take a photo of the menu. :)

@Anon: Glad you're enjoying THS. Haven't tried the hotchocolate there - but I find it hard to stray from their French Earl Grey tea!

Betty said...

ive been told to come here in my jan trip so i really cant wait :O)