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The Hardware Sociéte, Melbourne

13 Jun

Highlight Delectable CBD brunch spot

Lowlight – No bookings policy

Croque Madame

Croque Madame

Baked eggs with chorizo, tomatoes, spinach

Baked eggs with chorizo, tomatoes, spinach

FOOD?

To start off our day in the city we decided to grab some brekky before our full day of shopping. At first we attempted to visit Mr Tulk but unfortunately due to it being a Sunday it was closed. Hardware Societe was somewhat close so we decided to give that a go.

When we first approached I was weary about the patrons waiting outside but decided to put our name on the list anyway. The waitress informed us the wait would be around 10-15 minutes so we decided to wait it out since it was too cold to walk elsewhere. I ordered a coffee to keep me warm and by the time it arrived our table was ready.

I’m a fan of the Croque Monsier and Madame trend at cafes. My dining companion mentioned she had not tried one before so I encouraged her to give it a go. The toast was warm and crunchy filled with salmon and melted gruyere cheese topped with a glossy sunny-side up fried egg.

I tried the hearty baked eggs with lots of chorizo, tomatoes and spinach. It was the perfect hot meal for the first week of Winter. Just a few comments though, I know it adds to the taste but I would have preferred my bread without the drenching in olive oil. And there was probably a bit too much cooked egg yoke for my liking, it would have been nice if it were runnier to add to the dipping sauce.

SERVICE?

We were seated at the bar stools facing the small kitchen area and were surprised to see only two cooks churning out the meals. They were both very systematic in their processes and delivered the food efficiently.

AMBIENCE?

Cute bustling cafe that’s constantly full of people indulging in delicious food and deep conversation. Seats are situated quite close together so there is little space between tables allowing for sneaky eavesdropping. There’s also a large share table at the back of the room.

VALUE?

Very affordable and good value for money considering the city location.

BOOKINGS?

Bookings and credit cards are not accepted here. We waited around 10-15 minutes for our table on Sunday for brunch which I felt was quite reasonable.

8

out of 10!

The Hardware Societe
118-120 Hardware Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
03 9078 5992

The Hardware Sociéte on Urbanspoon

Movida Bar de Tapas, Melbourne

29 Feb

Highlight – Amazing presentation

Lowlight – No space for dessert!

Cordorniz - Pressed quail & morcilla with apple & pickled garlic

Cordorniz - Pressed quail & morcilla with apple & pickled garlic

Croquetas de choco en su tinta - Squid ink croqueta with cuttlefish

Croquetas de choco en su tinta - Squid ink croqueta with cuttlefish

Pate de Pato - Duck liver parfait with Pedro Ximenez foam and toasted brioche

Pate de Pato - Duck liver parfait with Pedro Ximenez foam and toasted brioche

Carrillera de Buey -  Slowly braised beef cheek in Pedro Ximenez on cauliflower puree

Carrillera de Buey - Slowly braised beef cheek in Pedro Ximenez on cauliflower puree

FOOD?

We were first greeted with a plate of fresh bread and olive oil and a reasonably large menu choice. We consulted with our waiter and he helped us to make our choices.

Each dish was presented beautifully and used bold flavours that did not fail to impress. Even though the serving sizes were small, the dishes were surprisingly filling, especially the braised beef cheek drenched in Pedro Ximenez. I could only eat small portions at a time as the taste was so intense.

My favourite dish was the squid ink croqueta wrapped in perfectly cooked cuttlefish. When split open it was completely black inside and had a crumbly yet moist texture. My partner’s favourite by far was the duck liver parfait with foam and toasted brioche. When all elements were consumed together the dish was well balanced. I appreciated the foam as it helped minimise the strong duck liver taste for me.

SERVICE?

Staff were friendly and knowledgeable of the menu, making suggestions for our order.

AMBIENCE?

I loved the layout of the restaurant, perfect for couples or small groups as the restaurant is not very big. We were seated along the window on tall bar stools so we had the view of Melbourne’s street art and tourist groups walking by taking photos of the infamous lane way. I can definitely see why it is one of Melbourne’s top eateries and will continue to be so for a long time coming.

VALUE?

A tad overpriced considering the portion sizes but then again customers are willing to pay for this considering the popularity of Chef Frank Camorra and the Movida brand.

BOOKINGS?

We were in the city for a friend’s wedding ceremony and decided to spontaneously drop by Movida to see if they had a spare table for lunch. Just after we were seated several other groups entered to try their luck with a table but unfortunately for them they had to wait. As such, it’s probably best to book well in advance, especially if you’re after a table of more than two.

9

out of 10!

Movida Bar de Tapas
1 Hosier Lane, Melbourne VIC 3000
03 9663 3038

MoVida Bar de Tapas on Urbanspoon

MoVida Aqui and Terraza, Melbourne

26 Mar

Highlight – Well presented and tasteful dishes

Lowlight – You need to order quite a few dishes to get full an this can get a bit pricey

Buey

Buey - Rost Biff wagyu with tocino de cielo, potato crisps, pickled garlic and black garlic

Bomba

Bomba - Catalan Potato bomb filled with chorizo

Romesco de Peix
Romesco de Peix – Prawns, clams and fish with romesco and lobster bisque

FOOD?

Delightful and great to go with a group of people to allow for sharing of dishes. I think 4-6 people is plenty otherwise you  end up only trying a bite-size piece of each dish. Expect vibrantly coloured meals that smell delicious.

I would definitely go again and try a different variety of dishes. As they have quite a lot on the menu you have many options to pick from!

SERVICE?

Our first waitress was not very pleasant or approachable but we ended up with a different waiter for ordering purposes as we wanted to ask for some recommendations. Overall service was average and varies on which waiter is allocated to your table.

AMBIENCE?

The restaurant was nearly full to its capacity. Many groups of friends as well as couples engrossed in non-stop chatter. Good vibe and a venue where you can sit back and enjoy a glass of wine over dinner.

VALUE?

Pricey but affordable. MoVida has a well-known brand especially after Chef Frank Camorra appeared on MasterChef so they can afford to charge high prices for small intricate dishes. Yes MoVida does not provide the most filling meal but the quality is definitely there.

BOOKINGS?

Available via phone and recommended for large group bookings.

8

out of 10!

MoVida Aqui and Terraza
Level 1, 500 Bourke Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
03 9663 3038 

MoVida Aqui and Terraza on Urbanspoon

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