Cafe Review: The Hardware Sociéte

Location: 118-120 Hardware Street, Melbourne
Phone: 03 9078 5992
Cuisine: Breakfast/Brunch, Spanish, French
Overall Impression: 5/10
Given the unashamedly French theme (deux is written unnecessarily on the menu instead of two...), it seems only fitting to give our opinion in French - nous n'aimons pas Hardware Sociéte.

Located at the end of Hardware Street (a continuation of Hardware Lane), this eatery is perhaps one of the most hyped places in Melbourne. It doesn't matter what day of the week it is, if Hardware Sociéte is open, it is full.

The fittings and furnishings are modern and bright with white dominating, broken up by splashes of yellow and light wood. 

As the café stops service at 2pm, Hardware Sociéte has a strong breakfast focus with an egg centric menu.
Bacalao on Toast

The salted codfish was creamy, the bread was nice and the salad fresh and pleasant.
La Sandwich

The sandwich was a little on the greasy side and the chorizo was far from the best we have tasted. But overall the sandwich was relatively tasty.
Hardware Sociéte is clearly the current cool kid on the block. What is less clear is exactly why. Whilst there was nothing wrong with the food served, we found it entirely unexceptional and undeserving of the hype. It appears, quite simply, that the popularity of Hardware Sociéte is self-sustaining, as people flood in to see what all the fuss is about.
Having said this, does our opinion really matter? Will anything we say stop hoards of people from putting their names on the waiting list and queuing outside, desperately trying to secure a table? Non.

The Hardware Sociéte on Urbanspoon