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The Hardware Societe Cafe

Home > Melbourne > Restaurants | Food and Wine | Cafes
by Anthea Lau (subscribe)
A sensual bon vivant who apparently has a flair for art and style. Originally from Hong Kong, studying and enjoying life in Sydney. More posts and photos at
Published December 8th 2011
The Hardware Société is a hidden gem in one of the many laneways in the city of Melbourne. I have received numerous recommendations about the beloved brunch spot of Melburnians from my friends who reside in the beautiful, cultural city. As a food lover, my friends and I had certainly popped into the place and experience some of the most flavoursome food delivered by one of the most popular CBD cafés.

A little patience is required if you are not an early bird since the queue tends to appear early in the morning. The charming little café has a casual and cosy interior with a modern twist. Accompanied by the breezy tunes of jazz in the background, it creates a perfectly mood-lifting atmosphere for breakfast, or lunch if you would prefer.

We were slightly later than usual on the day, and were provided with the lunch menu. Apart from those on the list of choices, they apparently served daily specials as well, which all sounded absolutely enticing.

Scallops with spinach salad and goats cheese

The scallop meat fresh and plump, and the scallop muscle creamy and tender. Hands down these were the best I have ever had as far as I could remember. Each piece was sautéed to perfection, which was impossible for me to detect any traits of fault in the dish. Every single bite spells glee and happiness, leaving my tastebuds awfully delighted. In addition, the huge dollop of goats cheese on top went perfectly well together with the salad.

Crispy pork and salad with vinaigrette dressing

The addictively crispy layer of pork crackling is a classic favourite among many people. That was quite a generous portion of meat, served with a refreshing side of salad in a mixture of wine and vinaigrette dressing.

Sirloin steak with potato stack

The steak itself was not the finest quality you can get but then again, without a doubt the dish was above average, which was definitely great value for money. While the meat was rather juicy and tender, the stack of thinly sliced potatoes served on the side was surprisingly delicious. In between each piece of potato sheet were fine layers of cream and cheese - sinfully amazing.

We simply could not get enough of the food during our first trip there, hence a second visit where we managed to reach there earlier for breakfast.

Fried Almond Croissant

Buttery fried croissant, sweet raspberry coulis and syrup, poached apricot, and finally broken bits of meringue scattered around the sides of the plate - a total sweet challenge. Undeniably, An insanely sweet tooth is a must to withstand the frenzy sweetness from hell. Nonetheless, I sampled a bit from my friend, and in fact it was a tasty indulgence.

Coddled eggs

The delicate eggs were soft cooked with warm yolks oozing out as I poked them. Served on top of the three pieces of sourdough were mushroom, smoked salmon and some sort of herbed fish that was absolutely palatable.

If you are currently in Melbourne and has not give The Hardware Société a try yet, I strongly suggest you to go ahead and discover the wholesome goodness in the food prepared by the café.
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Why? Brunch is a great time to enjoy good food and gather around with friends
Where: 120 Hardware St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Cost: $5 - $20
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