Hardware Societe, located in Melbourne, Australia is probably one of the more unique and memorable brunch places that we’ve been to, and my family goes to brunch almost every Saturday, looking for new places to try each week. I was there for the World Cardiology Conference a few years back and E and little c tagged along with me. The place was small and the decor was whimsical and crafty looking with baskets of yarn and ribbon hanging off the counters and a tea cup wall installation behind the register.
I ordered tea and E had a latte per usual.
The food was so good and uniquely presented that I have been trying to replicate it ever since. I ordered Baked Eggs with Chorizo Sausage, Piquillo Pimento Sauce, Crunchy Almonds, and Queso de Cabra Goats Milk Cheese pictured below. It was presented in an individual cast iron pot sitting on top of a cutting board with toasted baguettes drizzled with olive oil. I had this dish over two years ago and can still remember slathering the perfect baguette with the runny baked eggs, cheese, chorizo, for the most delicious, savory, and crunchy bite. Everything about it was wonderful: the flavor, the crunch, the process of compiling each bite, the presentation and even the remote, back alley location of the restaurant.
Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve never had anything like it before or since and have been scouring the internet for a similar recipe. I even bought mini cast iron pots and cutting boards to replicate the look.
What I found was Rachel Khoo’s Eggs in Pots recipe. Rachel Khoo is British and trained as a chef in Le Cordon Bleu in France. I’m intrigued with how she cooks in her tiny kitchen. Watching her cook makes me want to cook. I even bought her cookbook, but ended up returning it because I couldn’t see myself making any of the recipes. They were a little too French for me (like liver, duck con fit, etc). In any case, I tried making her Eggs in Pots recipe but felt the creme fresh made it too heavy for our taste. However, the concept is similar with the eggs being baked in the oven. I’m guessing that I can replicate the dish by adding chorizo, goat cheese and pimento sauce.
E ordered this charcuterie board mainly because of the coddled eggs you see in the shot glasses. He loves runny, even completely raw eggs. This dish was fun to compile as well, with a bit of runny egg, salmon, cheese, prosciutto, and pickles for a bite that was salty, creamy, and sour at the same time.
Little c got this banana loaf with marscapone and berries and he loved it. I normally do not like baked goods at all, but remember this as being delicious. Not quite as memorable as my dish so I can’t quite describe what it tastes like but for me to enjoy a baked dessert, it probably wasn’t overly sweet or heavy.
Because we went on a random weekday, we didn’t have to wait for seating at all. Depending on the exchange rate, it could be quite expensive to eat here, with the three of us at nearly $70, but I still thought it was worth it, especially since everything in Australia seemed quite expensive, anyway. Australia is one of those places we love to visit. I hope we’ll be back soon!