Over the holiday period, I finally managed to get my way to Hardware Society to try their brunch. I have been meaning to try it for over 2 years and thought it was time I woke up early and went into the city for brunch.
They are a French inspired brunch focused cafe located on Hardware Lane. Being one of the earlier brunch establishments in Melbourne city scene it is very popular and a long wait time it almost to be expected here unless you arrive very early (like at 9am).
After a 30 minute wait I finally got a table with Mario. We started off the meal with a quick caffeine hit. We both got a latte, soy for me and skinny for him. I was happy to see they used Padre coffee beans. Smooth and full body, good start to a meal!
Oh if you can't be bothered to wait, they do take away coffee and there is a bunch of baked goodies you can get to eat on the run.
Since we were both famished at this point, we decided to be the more on the glutton side and ordered 3 things to share between us.
He picked the baked eggs with option un(1) which had cauliflower puree, pumpkin, brie and pennants. Mario is a total sucker for brie so he said no to option deux(2) straightaway even though it had chorizo (I would've picked option deux). Baked eggs is one of their more popular dish and it was with good reason too. The baked eggs came out boiling hot and so much runny egg. Served with a side of bread it was a well balanced and thought out combination of flavours that was in that little pot.
As a my pick I went with the BLT. This is not the BLT, most would expect and I would say it's more just a "Hardware Society BLT". It has pulled pork with confit baby tomatoes, aioli and shredded beetroot all served inside a brioche bun. This was surprisingly good. I loved the concept and even though it wasn't really a BLT, because there was no bacon or lettuce, the great flavour made up for the misleading name. Creaminess of the aioli, sweetened from the beetroot and brioche, intense flavour from the pork, just all came together nicely.
The other thing we got to share was the Bircher. I felt this would make me feel more 'healthy' and less guilty. It was a berry compote with lychee and macadamias. It was the first time I've had lychee in my muesli and I really enjoyed it. The sweetness from the tinned lychee was good with the bite the macadamia bought. The berry compote was good creamy texture.
Overall 16/20 I was pleasantly surprised with all the dishes. If the wait wasn't so bad I would come here more often. The food had a good creative flare to it and I can understand why it's so popular now. Only downside for me was the service. I understand they are busy, but when someone has been waiting for 45 minutes for a table in the hot Melbourne Summer weather, I would have expected them to be a bit more attentive and patient.