On the repeated recommendation of the fastidious BC@Melbourne Culinary Journal, I finally made it to the much blogged about eatery-of-the-moment that is The Hardware Societe. Pushing my pram up Hardware St, I reminisced about the days of visiting McEwan's Hardware when I was little. (OK, showing my age!) It was 10am on a Friday morning, and The Hardware Societe is literally buzzing with people, and I was fortunate to grab a table for me and bubs in the pram as there were way more people who want to eat here then there is space to accommodate them!
I chose the famed Coddled Eggs and 3 Soldiers, which has received quite a bit of buzz in the media as well as the blogosphere. It was a very well executed and presented combination of perfectly coddled eggs in little cups, and 3 baguette soldiers topped with some well chosen delicacies. The toppings were (in the picture from back) cured salmon and herb fraiche, duck rillette, romesco verde and confit tomato. They had very different flavours but complimented each other well. I really enjoyed this interesting breakfast dish and couldn't really choose a favourite soldier!
I rested my usual choice of tea or mocha, and instead tried the Hot Chocolate. I'm really glad I did as this was a bit of a fun experience in itself. I was presented with a soft lump of 54% callebaut chocolate in a cup, and a little beaker of warm frothed milk. The beauty of this is that you can choose how strong you'd like your hot chocolate. Great, as I find there is quite a variety of preferences in the strength of hot chocolates in both drinkers and makers, and this way YOU are in control. There's quite a lot of milk too, so if you like your hot chocolate dilute and you want to finish the lot you'd better not be lactose intolerant. Oh, and the little mouthful of donut that come with the hot drinks is an awesome treat.
Best Hot Chocolate I've had in recent memory.
I squished my pram into the shop, but there really isn't a whole lot of room. The staff were pleasant and helpful, but I felt a bit bad and hoped that by squeezing the pram into a niche next to the door we didn't take up too much space. Definitely a great place for breakfast, but perhaps with a slightly older child, and definitely without the pram.
The Hardware Societe is also famed for their macarons. I did not try any as I had some alternative plans for macaron tasting later.... (will post more!)
Eat.Play.Shop. Recommends : The Hot Chocolate, awesome experience.
Give it a Miss : if you're planning a mother's group outing - not here! Great for a brekkie "date", or if you have one or two children who can sit at the table on an adult chair.
Toilets : Not that I could see, but I didn't go too far into the shop with my pram.