120 Hardware Street Melbourne VIC 3000 Australia
03 9078 5992 (no bookings)
This is the very first time I have ventured out to have breakfast as a person with FODMAP friendly requirements. Hubby had to pick one of the harder cafes to get FODMAP friendly stuff- Hardware Societe. They have this “no changes made to the menu” rule, which I totally embraced when I don’t have dietary requirements, but now that I do, I wonder what I could eat there. Thankfully I DO know that they do give you gluten free bread for +$1.
It was a Saturday lunchtime so we are certainly prepared to wait, but the best thing is to ask them for a menu and start browsing through it, but even if you decided what you want, remember to listen to the specials first, cos it might be so good that you will change your mind! (Today they were offering some sort of awesome brioche french toast with coconut and chocolate- Boy was I glad that I didn’t hear that first or else I will be sobbing uncontrollably cos I can’t actually eat it!)
We didn’t have to wait too long, maybe 20 mins or so, before we got seated in the outdoor area. Even with heaters it ain’t that warm in this stupidly cold Melbourne winter, so I kept my jacket on. Thankfully my licorice, fennel and peppermint tea came pretty quickly to warm me up! And look at that awesome tea cosy! I love Hardware Societe’s tea- it slightly resembles Aveda’s tea and it really helps calm my tummy. Another really yummy option is their hot chocolate.
I had a less-than-fun time when it comes to ordering. In my pre-FODMAP days I would have ordered the baked eggs or scrambled eggs, but alas they have cheese. Then I would probably share a dessert breakfast with hubby, such as the previously mentioned brioche coconut choc special, or deconstructed cheesecake brioche with confit orange and grand mariner syrup…. those were the days…
Anyway, so looking at the menu, it seemed as if I can choose either Sardine on (GF) Toast $15 or Poached Eggs with Terrine on (GF) Toast $19. I love Hardware Societe’s Sardines on Toast, but I thought I would do something different and get poached eggs this time. When requesting gluten free bread the waitress cut me off and said “No changes!” I almost rolled my eyes and snapped at her. However, I just sighed inwardly and patiently explained to her that the menu said I can have gluten free bread. I have been here longer than you have honey, I know the drill.
Anyway, that aside, my food came and it was awesome. Perfectly poached eggs sit prettily on top of crunchy celeriac remoulade and gluten free toast. On the side there is the glorious pork and pistachio terrine. I like the terrine but I am certainly not a connoisseur of it… somehow my tastebuds never seemed to get the rilette, jamons, terrine, pate and the likes, they just get lumped in this generic category that is “oh this tastes nice”. What I love is the balance of this dish. Rich terrine vs light celeriac and sour beetroot relish, the celeriac also adds the crunchy and texture to this dish.
To be honest I didn’t feel too deprived at all, and hardly thought about the gluten free bread as there are some many flavours soaked into it. I always think GF bread is a bit cakey though and perhaps I can fool myself that I am having dessert/savoury all at once.
Hubby had his usual, which is the fried eggs with jamon and olive bread. He has no complaints with it and finished every bit of it and even worked his way through some of my terrine (he drew the line at gluten free bread though :P)
Overall, the service was slightly disappointing but the food, as usual, was fantastic. Certainly worth the snotty “No changes!” to get your hands on their breakfast! Oh, and remember to bring cash cos they don’t have EFTPOS facilities. 8/10
Anyone with dietary requirements should check with their doctor and work with the cafe/ restaurant owners to determine whether their food is suitable for them. Cafe/Restaurants that offer “gluten free” or food suited to your requirements MAY NOT guarantee there are no cross-contamination. Please check with the cafe/ restaurant owner if this concerns you.