No eggs on toast. If you didn’t get the memo, it’s written in bold neon on the back wall. Eggs still feature heavily on the long menu, however, including the crowd favourite lobster benedict, the cold poached seafood and soft eggs served in a charcoal bun, all the better to show off the vivid yellow of a hyper-tangy hollandaise (warning: do not attempt to eat with hands). Delve deeper still into the French program with boudin blanc in a cushion of soft polenta with field mushrooms and fried rosemary – a comfort-heavy dish perfect for autumn.
On the sweet end of the spectrum, a fat wodge of fried brioche perfumed with hibiscus syrup is bejewelled with fresh berries and a cracker of a vanilla meringue breaking its crust to reveal gooey guts of chantilly cream. Plus, excellent croissants from Noisette.
Padre’s Daddy’s Girl espresso blend is the parochial choice of many a Melbourne caff thanks to its low-acid, full-bodied charms, which marry equally well with cows’ milk (St David’s Dairy), oat milk (Minor Figures) or soy (Happy Happy Soy Boy). It’s jazzed up here with some serious latte art from our anonymous barista. Teas, including a zesty oolong orange blossom, are served in pots snuggled in colourful knitted cosies worthy of a CWA luncheon.
You can breakfast like a Sun King in the dying days of the monarchy with a sparkling cocktail in hand such as a bellini, mimosa or boozy tea: a mix of prosecco and its daily-changing iced tea (just don’t drink to the point it’s off with your head). It’s a well-rounded booze list, with wine on tap including a Yarra Valley chardonnay and Tuscan rosé – hit them by the glass or carafe.
Address 10 Katherine Place, Melbourne, 03 9621 2100, hardwaresociete.com
Open Mon-Thu 7.30am-3pm; Fri 7.30am-10.30pm; Sat-Sun & public holidays 8am-3pm
Loving The indoor waiting spot for dogs, complete with comfy bed and water bowl.
Not getting How queuing for brunch has turned into Melbourne’s favourite pastime.
Vegan factor Bucking the vegan-friendly trend, Hardware Societe still flies the flag for lacto-ovo moderates.