How have I not been here before?! Considered the backbone of Brunch in Melbourne it is hard to go past Hardware Societe. I've been scared of the lines for years but now it was time to give it a shot - and wow do I regret missing out on this meal for years!
Bit late on this post but as they say...better late than never! I got to experience the city in full Chinese New Year spirit and with that the fabulous Fried Brioche Special (Black sesame pannacotta, minted mango, freeze dried lychees, toasted coconut, black sesame paste). I'm not normally a huge fan of Asian inspired desserts but WOW. The black sesame wasn’t too overpowering and the pannacotta was so creamy it simply melted in my mouth. With such an indulgent centre the minted mango was a welcomed palate cleaner. The mixture of textures on this dish was also great with flakes of coconut, lychee and the bread itself delivering in texture AND flavour.
In terms of the Lobster Benedict (Citrus hollandaise, soft herbs, bun noir, poached eggs) it was fairly standard brunch fair. I liked the lobster and it was cooked perfectly well but I needed more flavours. The black bun added very little to the dish but the addition of lemon flavour of the hollandaise did complement the lobster. Overall...average.
I now know why Hardware Societe is such an influence on the brunch scene with the basics on the menu that are executed perfectly. The decor is perfectly Parisian though extremely busy, noisy and you'll always have to wait in line. I think that these minor annoyances are worth dealing with the try the great food here SO GO TRY IT!
Presentation (5): 4.5
Taste (5): 4.5
Service (5): 4
Atmosphere (5): 3.5