I remember the first time we had breakfast here very fondly, it was a nasty chilly Melbourne morning in the CBD, I stupidly didn’t pack anything warm and only wore a summer dress. Stupid. I was so cold by the time we arrived at The Hardware Societe that I was grateful for a break from the biting wind battering our underdressed bodies.
Our first encounter with a Melbournian was our waiter who was the most friendliest, hospitable human being I’ve come across, greeted us with a smile and continued serving us with such attentiveness and warmth I wanted to cry. On our second visit I found out the waiter’s name. There is a goodness in this world, it goes by the name of Adam – a Ms Brulée shoutout to Adam where ever you are.
So it’s only fit that our first positive experience from Melbourne should be revisited for Valentines Day. (click here to read about how we ended up in Melbourne)
If I lived in Melbourne this would be my kind of haunt, a charming French inspired bistro in the heart of Melbourne CBD, you can buy pâté, spreads, imported French candy and oui, long sticks of baguette.
My favourite hot beverage tea, is swanked up with the addition of steaming milk, sugar and spices such as cinnamon, cloves and ginger. The chai here isn’t overly sweet, there’s a good milk to tea ratio and the spices fragrant. The milk foam and dusted cocoa on top makes this warming drink extra luxurious.
I adore the cheery yellow teacups, they make drinking 54% dark callebaut hot chocolate out of them even more enjoyable. It is a rich, hearty concoction of chocolate and more chocolate finished with a dollop of luxe cream. You get about two cups worth of hot chocolate including the contents of the jug, I am an instant fan of The Hardware Societe.
Duck confit is made with the leg of the duck, it is rubbed with salt, herbs and left to marinate for hours, then rinsed and submerged in its own fat where it is then slowly poached until tender. This leg of duck is not the most meltingly tender I’ve had but still amorously good in flavour and the sweet vinagrette paired well with the fattiness of the duck.
I know what you’re thinking, and I can answer you right now, that that plate of food above, tasted as good as it looked. A generous chunk of roasted pork belly is meltingly soft with crispy crackling, served with a honeyed roasted peach and a fresh beetroot and apple remoulade. A disc of crushed potatoes mixed with butter, parsley, mushroom and shallots fills your belly up and nothing feels better than leaving an establishment full.
Je t’aime Hardware Societe, your food, your pastries (though I didn’t get to try them looked tantalising) and your service were so lovely, you’d be hard pressed to find a better cafe in Melbourne.
Mon – Fri: 7:30am – 3pm
Sat & Sun: 8:30am – 2pm