Tag Archives: Brunch

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

Innocent Bystander, Giant Steps, Healesville

15 May

Highlight – Delicious food

Lowlight – High noise levels due to the packed venue

Sashimi, grape, beetroot and avocado salad

Sashimi, grape, beetroot and avocado salad

Duck and mushroom pie with carrot mash

Duck and mushroom pie with carrot mash

Calabrese salami, san marzano tomato, oregano & buffalo mozzarella

Calabrese salami, san marzano tomato, oregano & buffalo mozzarella

FOOD?

We had a late morning appointment in the Yarra Valley so we decided to book lunch afterwards at Innocent Bystander since we would be close by. There was a large variety of dishes to decide on, including tapas, pizzas, “non-pizzas”, breads and cheeses, plus an extensive wine list.

When the dishes arrived they looked amazing, the colours were vibrant and further accentuated by the sunlight. To start we chose the fresh sashimi salad combined with beetroot, grapes and avocado. It was perfect to get our taste buds going.

For mains we chose the duck and mushroom pie and the calabrese pizza. When the pie was first sliced open it was moist and full of flavour. There was a decent amount of duck which was complimented with the carrot mash.

As my eyes are bigger than my tummy I decided to order the calabrese salami pizza all to myself. I did not come close to finishing it! Their pizza bases are 100% organic sourdough and are cooked in a wood fire oven to obtain a crisp base. Even though the ingredients were simple they were of a high quality to make the juicy topping. It was slightly on the oily side although that may have been due to the salami.

Next time I’ll have to try the truffle and parmesan frites as I’ve heard rave reviews. Plus I love anything to do with potatoes!

SERVICE?

I thought the service was fine, a bit slow but probably because the place is constantly so busy.

AMBIENCE?

It was a beautiful sunny day so we decided to sit outside on the benches for lunch. Inside the restaurant it is mega busy and buzzing with people. We were lucky with the weather and got to sit away from the noisy crowd.

VALUE?

A little on the pricey side but since I don’t visit Healesville very often it was worth it. I would recommend visiting if you haven’t already been.

BOOKINGS?

Bookings are accepted and recommended as the venue can get extremely busy. When we arrived for our booking there was a long line of customers waiting to be seated. I overheard some people being told they would have to wait for a while as the restaurant was at capacity. I’d definitely come back here next time I’m in the area.

8

out of 10!

Innocent Bystander / Giant Steps
336 Maroondah Highway, Healesville VIC 3777
03 5962 6111 

Giant Steps / Innocent Bystander Winery on Urbanspoon

The Firehouse, Ringwood

18 Apr

Highlight – Delicious brekky

Lowlight – The echoey back room

Croque Madame - butter roasted ham, gruyere, bechamel sauce, dijon mustard sandwich plus egg

Croque Madame - butter roasted ham, gruyere, bechamel sauce, dijon mustard sandwich plus egg

Russet Burbank potato rosti, huon smoked salmon, truffle scented scrambled eggs & snipped chives

Russet Burbank potato rosti, huon smoked salmon, truffle scented scrambled eggs & snipped chives

FOOD?

The majority of the breakfast menu proudly contains free range eggs. I tried the Croque Madame; roasted ham with gryuere, bechamel sauce, and dijon mustard topped with a fried egg. Probably not the healthiest choice but super tasty when all elements are consumed together in one bite. The potato rosti was served with smoked salmon, scrambled eggs and sprinkled with chives. It looked amazing and the portion size was very generous.

While I was waiting for my friends I noticed the glass cabinet full of small cakes and pastries. If I wasn’t so full after my breakfast I would have been eager to try one or two. I’ll have to come back for a coffee date! I’m also keen to try the blackberry pancake with compote, berry cream and toasted almonds.

Also note that breakfast is served til 3pm so perfect for those who like to sleep in on the weekends.

SERVICE?

Staff are super friendly and accommodating, always asking if everything is okay and if we wanted more drinks.

AMBIENCE?

The restaurant is quite large and divided in various sections. Unfortunately we were seated at the back of the venue where the lighting was not very good and the room echoed every time anyone spoke. The space out the front is a lot brighter with natural light and I would request to be seated there on my next visit.

VALUE?

Priced on the higher side for a restaurant so far out from the city but the food is of a high quality so worth the cost. Breakfast ranges in the high teens to $20, and lunch is slightly more.

BOOKINGS?

Yes bookings are accepted and also recommended as it can get quite busy especially on the weekends.

7

out of 10!

The Firehouse
253-257 Maroondah Highway,  Ringwood VIC 3134
03 9876 8100

The Firehouse on Urbanspoon

Station Street Cafe, Nunawading

4 Apr

Highlight – Awesome café find in Nunawading

Lowlight – Service was a tad slow

Station Street Benedict - ham off the bone, poached eggs, hollandaise, ciabatta

Station Street Benedict - ham off the bone, poached eggs, hollandaise, ciabatta

Spanish Inquisition - french toast, chorizo, mushrooms, red onion, napoli and Persian feta

Spanish Inquisition - french toast, chorizo, mushrooms, red onion, Napoli and Persian feta

FOOD?

After perusing the A4 page menu, I opted for the Spanish Inquisition. When it arrived at the table I quickly realised there was no way I was going to finish my meal. I was presented with a large piece of french toast topped with a massive amount of spicy chorizo, onions, a couple of mushrooms, Napoli and Persian feta. The dish overall was full of flavour but too oily for my liking, especially for the first meal of the day.

My other half tried the Station Street Benedict. One egg was perfectly poached and the other was slightly overdone. Hollandaise sauce was slightly separated but generously poured over the top. Both meals were presented well and of a decent size.

SERVICE?

Staff were polite and friendly. As the cafe was at capacity when we arrived, they offered us a seat on the couch while we waited for a table. Once seated we ordered coffees and they arrived in a timely manner. However, the food took a while to arrive. I managed to finish the Domain section of the newspaper and our food was still not ready.

AMBIENCE?

We visited last Saturday morning for an impromptu brunch after an early appointment and were surprised by the popularity of the cafe. There were plenty of locals and families with kids so the venue got quite loud at times. There is a cheerful and easy going atmosphere at the cafe driven by the friendliness of the staff.

VALUE?

Prices are quite average, with the Big Breakfast being the priciest item on the breakfast menu at $20.

BOOKINGS?

I saw on their signboard and on their website that they are open for tapas style dinners on Friday nights, bookings are welcome.

6

out of 10!

Station Street Cafe
26 Station Street, Nunawading VIC 3131
03 9878 9383
 Station Street Café on Urbanspoon

Bluebird Espresso, Collingwood

16 Nov

Highlight – Hidden little cafe

Lowlight – Long wait for food

Harissa poached eggs on fire roasted peppers with harissa butter and rocket

Harissa poached eggs on fire roasted peppers with harissa butter and rocket

Banana bread with berry compote, fresh banana, crushed pistachios and spiced yoghurt

Banana bread with berry compote, fresh banana, crushed pistachios and spiced yoghurt

FOOD?

We actually attempted to visit Proud Mary after reading all the positive reviews on Urbanspoon. Even though it was peak time on a Saturday morning around 11am we thought we might try our luck. I enquired about the waiting time for a table and counted around 10 different names on the waiting list. As such we decided to give it a miss. I had a quick browse on Urbanspoon’s iPhone app and found Bluebird Espresso.

Upon entering the cafe it appeared to be quite full except for a few small tables at the front. As soon as we sat down we were asked if we would like to order any drinks. I decided to try the brekkie smoothie containing bananas, berries and honey cinnamon yoghurt. In hindsight I probably shouldn’t have had this considering I ordered pretty much the same thing for my meal.

I was keen to try the popular ‘Mr Crunch’ which is a ham and cheese toastie with bechamel sauce. Unfortunately (and surprisingly) they managed to run out of Mr Crunches as well as croissants by 11:30am. I then decided to order the vine tomatoes on sourdough as I was after something light. We were informed the wait for food would be at least half an hour. By then I figured I would be a bit more peckish so I changed my order to the banana bread. It was served with berry compote, sliced banana, a generous amount of spiced yoghurt and finally sprinkled with crushed pistachios. Even though I’m not a huge fan of bananas, the bread did not have a strong banana taste and the combination of flavours went perfectly.

The eggs with harissa butter were polished off quickly. Eggs were poached perfectly and the vibrant colors of the toasted capsicum and fresh rocket looked amazing on the plate.

SERVICE?

Staff are casual and really friendly.

AMBIENCE?

There appeared to be lots of locals and regulars. Love the eccentric decor and fresh tulips on each table. There is an outdoor courtyard with large share tables which would be great for Summer outdoor dining. Tables in the front half are small with just enough space to fit your plates. There are also a couple of tables out the front of the cafe.

VALUE?

Meals are cheap, averaging around $12 and no more than $15. Great value for money.

BOOKINGS?

Correct me if I’m wrong but I don’t think they take bookings here. Probably not necessary though, as I noticed quite a few walk-ins.

7

out of 10!

Bluebird Espresso
134 Johnston Street, Collingwood VIC 3066
03 9078 7047

Bluebird Espresso on Urbanspoon

%d bloggers like this: