So a little while ago, I went on this big trip to Melbourne and ate a whole lot of things there, I figured now is as decent time as any to finally start talking about it, so for the next couple of weeks, it’s going to be a whole lot of Melbourne eating!
I’ve heard amazing things about this place, everyone raves about the baked eggs and every time I tell someone I’m going to Melbourne, they say that Hardware Societe is a must visit. I’ve been to Melbourne a lot yet I’ve never had the chance to drop by until this time!
We arrived at around 10.30AM on a week day and cafe was bustling with cafe goers, waiters, people trying to get in, people trying to get coffees and take away, it was crazy. I purposefully chose a weekday to avoid the crowds but we still had to wait about 15 minutes to get a table for two and I don’t think they do bookings, so be warned, don’t come here too hungry and leave in plenty of buffer time!
The shop looked pretty awesome, there was some pretty decor inside but I was seated outside so I didn’t get a good look unfortunately, though I did notice that they sell some cute looking cups and other kitchen goods as well as hipster ingredients and tea cosies too! They also had some pastries!
As for the food, it was great!
First up, the Twice cooked pork belly ($21), pork belly with braised cabbage, bacon lardons, cauliflower puree, apple and cider jus. So I guess to explain why I ended up with pork at The Hardware Societe, by the time we were seated and looked through the rather extensive menu, they had started serving lunch. So when we scanned the lunch menu, Ouk saw that they had a pork belly, and Ouk can never pass up pork bellt, so here we are! We decided to get this from the lunch menu and the famous Hardware Societe baked eggs.
The pork belly was amazing! Really tender, super juicy, really tasty and with a lovely layer of crispy skin on top. The pork had this thing that I honestly haven’t seen much of where the fat was mazed through the meat, so it wasn’t some chunk of meat, then an equally thick chunk of fat, then skin. This made it really easy to get the ratios right when eating it and really made it quite enjoyable. The meat went perfectly with the braised cabbage and cauliflower puree which was quite bitter and helped to ground out the strong rich flavours that normally come with pork. The apple cider jus was really tasty and brought in the sweetness to this dish that levelled everything out. Everything was just in perfect harmony! Even without the meat, the cauliflower puree and jus would have been amazing on its own, like mash potato and gravy, but fancy!
Second up, the Baked eggs ($18) with chorizo sausage, cherry tomato, thyme, almonds and cheese. These were really tasty, I kind of understand why everyone raves about it now! It was sizzling hot when it came out and full of flavour. This dish had a wonderful tomato flavour to it and when you dug your spoon in and spun it around you could definitely see why, it was like a soup down there! The chorizo was exceptionally tasty and gave a lot of spice to the baked eggs and its coarseness gave the dish some wonderful texture against everything else being so gooey. The egg yolks were still intact when it came out, creamy and tasted fantastic, when you popped them they just oozed throughout the dish and it really was just an amazing dish. The almonds helped to give the dish some crunch and nice texture to the gooey eggs. Easily one of the best baked eggs I’ve ever had, and the many recommendations I had to try it were not let down!
For drinks, I got my old classic, a Chai ($3.50). This was lovely, creamy and frothy. I think there was also a little bit of cinnamon dusted on top. Really tasty and full of strong chai flavours, also it was quite a bit of chai for $3.50! Not bad at all.
Hardware Societe was a fun experience. I can now say I’ve had some of the best baked eggs in Australia! Oh and best part, just down the street from Hardware Societe is Le Belle Miette, an amazing macaron store. I visited them the last time I was in Melbourne and every single macaron was flawless and the flavours were amazing and not overly sweet at all!
Check out some of our other food adventures from Melbourne: