After a most unsatisfying carrot zucchini muffin plane food experience on a 1.5 hour flight down to Melbourne, i was getting quite eager for some real breakfast and coffee. A short drive later my wish was granted as i arrived at my first food stop, The Hardware Societe.
The Hardware Societe was reasonably quite high up on my mental food list as it’s been mentioned quite a few times and gave off one of the “places you must try” impressions. Before arriving, i had also been told that there are usually long waits, but i wanted to test my luck to try their baked eggs. And sure enough, there was a line, although thankfully a short one even though it was a weekday. The wait was roughly around ten minutes, any longer and we would’ve left for another place.
The service is attentive and friendly here despite it being a busy cafe, and the waitresses came around to check up multiple times. The first to arrive were our coffees and my friend’s adorable pot of green tea served with a mini donut on the side. Our food orders were decided very quickly as my Melbourne friends have visited here before, while me and my other friend had settled on the baked eggs trying the two different versions.
One of my Melbourne friends is on a serious hunt for the best mushroom breakfast/brunch dish and so he made no hesitation to order the Field mushrooms with romesco sauce, roasted leeks, goats chevre and fried eggs ($18). The dish looked very promising especially with the fried eggs on top, my friend was happy with his dish but tells me he’s had better at other places.
My Melbourne friends also chose different dishes of the omelette and saucisse de morteau (white bean chorizo broth with poached eggs) to try something different.
The baked eggs came as a small pot served on a wooden plank and the waiters will warn you to be careful not to touch it incase you burn your fingers. The hot pot of baked eggs in the piquillo pimientos sauce was definitely comforting especially on a cold morning. My eggs arrived no longer runny but fortunately not dry, and i managed to finish this rather quickly. My friend and i having both ordered the baked eggs agreed that it was a good choice.
So the verdict is really based around whether or not it lived up to the hype. My Melbourne friends dont think too much of it and feel that the food was average in their opinion, with all three agreeing that they could find better elsewhere. In my opinion, it did meet my expectations although this may have had been different if i had to wait an hour in line. I was happy with my dish but judging from the overall comments, but the baked eggs seems to be the only dish worth going there for.