Hardware Societe Revisited

120 Hardware St, Melbourne 3000
Date visited: 22nd June 2014

Now I've been to Hardware Societe a couple of times before and have mixed feelings about one of the most talked about cafes in Melbourne.  At brunch with SM last week, she somewhat convinced us again to give it another try as she is now a fan after several revisits.  Well, MerlinFan and I were looking for somewhere in the CBD for brunch before going to the matinee of Wicked, so we decided to give Hardware Societe another go.

We arrived at about 10am and already there was a huge crowd outside.  Surprise, surprise, we waited 45 minutes XP

I got a Cappuccino and MerlinFan got a mocha.  The coffee was still on the weak side, like I remembered.  No mini cinnamon doughnut with my coffee this time.

Mocha (top), Cappuccino (bottom)
The mocha was great, though.  The hot chocolate (delicious!) came in a small jug that you add yourself to a shot of espresso.  A bit of DIY.

Mixing your own mocha
MerlinFan had the Scrambled Eggs Deux with jamon, romesco, jerusalem artichoke chips, persian fetta.

Scrambled eggs $20
MerlinFan loves her scrambled eggs and felt this one was a little overdone, more like an omelette.  We weren't quite sure where the jerusalem artichoke chips were either.  Overall MerlinFan was rather underwhelmed after her fantastic eggs at Di Bella last week.

I felt like something sweet today, so I chose the Fried Brioche with French Earl Grey tea and rosewater pannacotta, raspberries and meringue.

Fried Brioche $18 

I'm so glad I chose this, because it was a beautiful dish.  Loved the thick sweet brioche with little sweet, crunchy corners.  The pannacotta had a tantalising wobble and was fragrant with Earl Grey tea - the rosewater flavour didn't really come through as much, though.  Topped off with a few mini meringue clouds and tangy raspberries, this was really lovely.

Overall, after my third visit, I still stand by my previous impression of Hardware Societe - there's a lot of hype, and some good dishes no doubt, but others can be a bit hit and miss.  Coffees are a little milkier and weak for my liking, but their mocha/ hot chocolate is a winner.  Overall, for a 45 minute or more wait, it's worth a try, but not somewhere I'd visit on a regular basis.

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