The Hardware Societé, Melbourne

Before flying out of Melbourne, we decided to head on to The Hardware Societé, one of the two cafés our friends were raving about all over Instagram and Facebook, with the other must-try café being Manchester Press, which is a short walk from The Hardware Societé.

The exterior of The Hardware Societe. We waited for a good 20 minutes due to the sheer number of people already seated.

The exterior of The Hardware Societé. We waited for a good 20 minutes due to the sheer number of people already seated.

First things first, the menu. I must say that the menu was far more elaborate than that of Manchester Press. They had a lot of food options that required a lot of preparation. However, the price was really steep, with most dishes sitting comfortably in the $20 range.

I can’t remember exactly what we all ordered but they were all pretty heavy. I ordered some sort of tea and I regretted it. It tasted funny and it was sour. Definitely not something I would drink as an early morning pick-me-up. 

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The tea drink that I ordered.

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Iced chocolate.

A must-try: Hot chocolate. And yes, there were hot chocolate pieces in the mug.

A must-try: Hot chocolate. And yes, there were hot chocolate pieces in the mug.

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Pork belly.

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Wagyu beef.

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Chef’s special. I think it was lamb.

My friends were pretty impressed with the food there but I wasn’t as pleased, mainly because of my poor choice in food that day. Not only did the drink taste bitter and sour at the same time, my choice of the chef’s special was lackluster, especially for the price.

The service was good and the ambience was pretty good. Though, it’s probably not the best place to have breakfast if you want to sip coffee and read a good book. Go there with friends and chill out, that’s my suggestion.

Would I return?
Yes, yes and yes!

Things to try: Hot chocolate and the pork belly.

Rating
Food: 4.5/5
Ambience: 4/5
Service: 5/5
Price: 4/5
Overall: 4.375/5

The Hardware Societe on Urbanspoon

Manchester Press, Melbourne

So I had the privilege of spending my Easter break in Melbourne and time to try out two very highly recommended cafés. Being the teenage photographer that I am, I just couldn’t let such a photo opportunity pass me by. And since I decided to start a food blog, I have decided to upload those photos here and give my take on the food at Manchester Press and The Hardware Societé.

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The exterior of Manchester Press.

First things first, the menu. I must say that the menu wasn’t very extensive, which was a shame. However, I have heard that Melbourne cafés don’t particularly like cooking up a storm in their kitchens for breakfast so that could be a reason why. Most of their menu comprised of bagels, bagels and more bagels.. ooh baked eggs with bagels.

Yeah, I can’t say we were spoiled for choice. Nonetheless, we were already seated and since it was recommended to us, we had to give it a try to see it this place did live up to its name.

I was pretty impressed with the way they served chai latte and it’s arguably one of the best I’ve tasted/seen so far. Either I’ve been really deprived of chai or they’re doing a good job. The tea was served in a cup, nothing special here, but the honey was served in this aluminium tin with a wooden honey dipper, which was pretty cool.

Yeah, it’s the little things that get me.

My order: chai latte and baked eggs with cherry tomatoes, salmon and bagel.

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Chai tea latte served with honey in a cute little aluminium tin and wooden honey dipper.

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Probably the most interesting thing on the menu – baked eggs with cherry tomatoes, salmon and bagel.

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Bagel with pulled pork.

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Grilled blue cheese bagel with grapes and rocket.

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Yes literally, a bagel with avocado.

Overall, we were pretty pleased with the food there. It wasn’t very impressive but we had a good breakfast nonetheless. The ambience was good too, not too loud, not eerily quiet and the waiting time wasn’t painfully long. Service was quick and the waiters were polite.
The interior of Manchester Press.
The interior of Manchester Press.

Would I return?
Depends on whether they decide to add more interesting things to their menu.

P/S. The baked eggs are only served until 12pm, so be sure to be there early.

Rating
Food: 4/5
Ambience: 4/5
Service: 5/5
Price: 4/5
Overall: 4.25/5

Manchester Press on Urbanspoon

Campos Coffee, Fortitude Valley

Campos Coffee, Fortitude Valley. One of the first few cafés I visited since my arrival in Brisbane and one of the cafés in Brisbane that I patronised more than once.

Tucked in an alley of the better part of Brisbane’s red light district, this café is constantly filled with chatter of their loyal customers. Why? Because their food is that good.

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The road leading to the café. We actually had to queue up along the walls because the line was so long and we came in as a big group.

First up, the menu. Yes, the menu was extensive and on top of that, they change their menu every month. We were definitely spoiled for choice. And if you’re not too pleased with the menu selection for the month, just come back next month. But don’t worry, every menu item is well thought out and it will definitely send your tastebuds asking for more. If you want to visualise their menu, just head on to the Campos Coffee QLD Facebook page, where they will upload photos of their monthly menu. And don’t worry if you won’t be able to see your favourite menu item the following month. Campos has a set list of menu items that won’t be changing anytime soon.

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Iced mocha. You can ask for no whipped cream.

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Iced latté. Very very bitter.

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Iced mocha.

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Campos fry up.

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Hot smoked salmon.

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Pork belly.

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Eggs benedict.

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Perfectly cooked eggs benedict, with that rich velvety hollandaise sauce.

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Chocolate ricotta pancakes.

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Roast chicken.

I was definitely impressed with the food. Though, the price did stop me from returning to the café for the next 8 months (Yes, I backdated the blog post to reflect the timeframe when I went there).

Would I return?
Yes, but only if I skip café hunts for the next half a year.

Rating
Food: 5/5
Ambience: 5/5
Service: 5/5
Price: 3/5
Overall: 4.5/5

Campos Coffee - Valley on Urbanspoon

Dandelion and Driftwood, Clayfield

The first ever café I visited since my arrival in Brisbane – Dandelion and Driftwood in Clayfield. Definitely wasn’t very impressed with the food selection there and since it was my first time, I had a hard time adjusting to the fact that we had to fork out $8 for a sandwich. Definitely not value for money, that I can tell you.

Looking at the menu, we were all not impressed considering that every single savoury item on the menu was a sandwich, with the exception of the breakfast tart, which turned out to be tiny. They did have other things but they were sweet and premade. Oh well.

The decor and overall ambience was pretty cool and the staff were really nice. The service though, was slow.

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The decor.

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We were seated outside because our group was too big. At least we got to talk to our hearts’ content. The exterior.

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As you can see from the pictures, their menu selection wasn’t very wide and to be quite frank, the food and coffee weren’t spectacular.

Would I return?
Probably not, unless they decide to revamp the menu.

Rating
Food: 3.5/5
Ambience: 4/5
Service: 4/5
Price: 4/5
Overall: 3.875/5

Dandelion & Driftwood on Urbanspoon