The Hardware Societe, Melbourne, Australia

I’m not normally a brunch person, normally opting for a sleep in and then some coffee at home on a weekend morning, rather than having to do the whole shower and dress routine on a day of leisure.

But today was different. A friend who was a former colleague from interstate was in town and since we couldn’t catch up during the week we decided to have brunch before she flew home. We also invited one of our former colleagues to make a threesome.

A quick google search for a brunch place in the CBD bought up The Hardware Societe on Hardware Street. I’d walked past it hundreds of time but never noticed it.

Center map

When I got there just before 10am there was already a queue of people waiting for tables. I popped my name on the waiting list and was told the expected wait was around 25 to 30 minutes which was pretty much spot on.

By 10:30 we were seated in the small outside area with the French/English menu of a quite varied selection of dishes from the ‘all day brunch’ menu.

Our waiter came back, went through the daily specials (one savory and one sweet), took our coffee/tea orders and gave us a couple of minutes to think about the options.

I chose the savory daily special which was thick cut bacon & poached eggs on sourdough with cheese croquettes and mild salsa. One friend ordered the same as me while the other friend ordered the Salmon Millefeuille (confit salmon, salmon tartar, chive creme fraiche, pickled zucchini, avocado puree, salmon pearls and poached eggs) from the regular menu.

Dishes took around 15 minutes to come out which gave us time to catch up.

Consensus was that the food was magnificent and that we’d be making a return visit when we’re all back in Melbourne.

This place is popular. By the time we left at around 11:30 there was a queue of about 40 people waiting for tables. If you can, and I know this is hard for a Saturday, try to get there early to reduce the wait.

Very, very highly recommended!