Eating Out (of Town): Melbourne: The Hardware Societe

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I’ve been out of town the last few days, enjoying Melbourne and its lovely weather restaurants. I’ve visited quite a few, and will try to post about them all soon. It’s been a real treat being able to experience the vast number of restaurants from a plethora of different cuisines. Melbournites really are spoiled for choice.

This morning I had the pleasure of trying the very talked about The Hardware Societe. This actually was my second visit, the first was a miserable failure. Word to the wise, this place is BUSY so plan ahead. After turning up yesterday only to find a million people waiting for a table at 10am, we went back at 8.45am today and got straight in. (Don’t get me wrong, it was still busy at 8.45, but I could get a table without waiting for 30+minutes in a freezing Melbourne alleyway).  

The decor is French vintage chic, and the waiter we had was lovely, whilst still being extremely well-to-do; a hard combination to pull off in my experience. We had the option of outside or in, and even though there were overhead heaters for the outside dining area, my blue chattering lips decided that inside was the way to go. We were seated in a tiny bar area with a lovely wooden bench, and damask wallpaper. My attention was drawn behind me though, where there was a great view of the kitchen (It was like my own private preview, and the chatter amongst the staff made for a great running commentary).
I ordered a latte and the Spanish Rice Pudding with Rhubarb, whilst Mr went with a short macchiato and the Brioche special of the day (which consisted of a brioche French toast, with coconut and passion fruit anglaise and a strawberry crumble).
The coffee was great (not the best I’ve had on my weekend away, but I’ll fill you in on that later), but it did come with a gorgeous little doughnut!

Meanwhile, and more importantly, the Spanish Rice Pudding was divine. Not too sweet, but I do suspect that it did have a very high fat content due to the mouth feel of it. The poached rhubarb complemented it beautifully, and all in all it was a great side-sticking breakfast for a cold winter morning. The brioche special that Mr ordered was delicious, but perhaps a tad on the sweet side. The brioche had a wonderful crunch, and the creamy anglaise provided a delicate harmony to the sweetness of the crumble. But as I said, it’s sweet – so perfectly suited for those of you that have a particularly sweet tooth.

Whilst I didn’t get to try any other dishes, I did “preview” the baked eggs (sweet potato option), sausage special and mushrooms, and they all looked amazing. The majority of the menu items are heavily French influenced, so come prepared for a decadent, rich experience.

The Hardware Societe is cash only (as are many places in Melbourne – to my astonishment – it must be a Melbourne thing). Prices range between $11-$22 for a morning brunch.

The Hardware Societe on Urbanspoon

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