The popularity of The Hardware Societe cannot be denied. There is even a wait when you get there at 9am on Grand Final Saturday. I do fondly remember brunching here on a regular basis during the days of its infancy. However, I was weaned off largely by the long wait time and haven’t been here for awhile now. I’m also discomforted by the constant fullness of the place crowd-wise. They’ve expanded the floor space by knocking down the wall to the adjourning bakery, however this hasn’t eliminated the closeted feel to the establishment because the extra seating is on a communal table. Half of that freed space is allocated to the the coffee making unit which utilises Padre coffee beans. Interestingly, tucked away in a corner, you’ll find eggs, breads and olive oil soaps for sale.The service staff are lovely, polite and accommodating; rest assured your order will be taken promptly.
I wasn’t afforded the luxury of the leisurely breakfast this morning, and as tempting as the two breakfast specials sounded, I ordered the fried eggs with jamon and salad, while my friend ordered the baked eggs. The fried eggs was generous in portion and appearance, amply occupying a large dinner plate in a manner that the Occupy Wall St movement would have been proud. However, I wasn’t this was worth $18 because the Jamon Serrano isn’t too expensive, and that was laid over a lightly oiled salad, nothing too pricey. The single slice of bread atop which sat two fried eggs was tasty and fresh, no complaints there. Well, when I say two fried eggs, I mean two eggs fried together rather hurriedly I would guess. They weren’t the prettiest eggs I’ve been served, which is not my gripe, but I’d expect some touch of classy or clean presentation at such establishments. Coffee was nice, but average in all honesty.
I am yet to try the pastries or cakes on offer, but despite all their visual appeal, I feel like I need the atmosphere to be more relaxing to enjoy that sort of newspaper reading-esque breakfast with nice pot of fragrant tea. I might return, but am not in any hurry.