Saturday, September 30, 2017

The Hardware Societé

When you go Melbourne, even if it's only for 7 hours, brunch still has to be a priority. This cafe is known for its lines. We got there around 12:30pm on a weekday and waited for around 15mins. 5 mins after we got there, the line was massive. I didn't even realise they have another cafe in Paris, but then why would you go Paris to have brunch when Aussies do brunch best. You go to Paris for the pastries, macarons, unlimited amounts of desserts, and all that French food...As I've said before, I would go back to Paris just for the food...

food spread

drinks, love the pretty latte art

Matcha maiden green tea latte-$5, capp-$4

I had the capp and it had a good depth of coffee in it. I feel like to have good latte art which doesn't sink/disappear in the froth, the froth can't be too airy/foamy, and needs a thicker froth consistency which this one does. The coffee art is a lot more refined here, they did hire a good barista. Tried a bit of the matcha and it had a lovely intense matcha hit in it, more bitter for those who also like their matcha lattes not sweet.

Fried brioche, meringue, passionfruit curd, chocolate chantilly, blueberries-$18

The bread was super soft which is expected from a brioche. First time having fried brioche. I loved the acidity from the passionfruit paired with the not too sweet yet light chocolate chantilly. The blueberries added just the right bit of sweetness, and the meringue had a good crunch without being overly sweet.

Lobster eggs benedict: citrus hollandaise, soft herbs, bun noir, poached eggs-$26


Anything with lobster just elevates a dish to another level, because lobster ain't cheap. There's not a lobster here, but the pieces you get were really fresh, sweet and juicy. It was balanced well with the citrus hollandaise which had just the right amount of acidity, although I do wish there was more sauce since the bun is more bready compared to just having a piece of toast. Yay for runny yolks. I feel like these days, you're cafe won't be successful if you can't make nicely shaped poached eggs.

Baked eggs: chorizo sausage, potato, piquillo peppers, queso mahon, toasted almonds, aioli-$19

Loved how this came bubbling in its cute little pot when it arrived on the table. I tried a bit of this and it wasn't too tomatoey or spicy.

There were other dishes which looked really good as well, but limited time/stomach space to try other things.

it's actually not too small inside

cute tea cups

The Hardware Societe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Spontaneous Melbourne Road Trip

Somehow all my trips this year have been spontaneous. From booking/planning Europe stuff within 2ish weeks to big fam Tassie trip around 1 wk before. HK was booked 2mths before but Japan was around 2ish before departure. I've always wanted to go away somewhere during mid sem break as a mini getaway, but in sem 1 it's always before mid sems, and sem 2 it's when all assignments are due, so never was game enough to not do uni work since mid sem breaks are made to catch up on study/notes. So when an opportunity presents itself just the weekend before to road trip to Melbourne, why not? 

Last time I was in Melbs was in 2013, and last time road trip was actually 10 years ago. Even it was only 7 hrs in Melbs, somehow managed to fit in 5 diff places to eat. Feeling very grateful meeting new people, who are not only kind but also generous. There needs to be more friendly people in this world...So glad I came on this road trip. 

on the road (I just wanted my thumbnail pic to be something bright)

Chronological order of the trip. Hopefully I'll end up doing some food reviews for Melb places I ate at. 

Max Brenner: White choc chai + dark mocha

First time trying the white choc chai, and wow, it's so good. It sounded sweet but they put in so much chai tea in it, and it's just bursting with chai flavour and actually not really sweet. The mocha did taste more like a hot choc, and couldn't taste much coffee. I guess it is a chocolate place after all.

Capp at XS Espresso

Coffee was alright, could have had a stronger coffee flavour. The only time I drink coffee in the afternoon is when I'm driving or I know I can afford to stay awake and not wake up early the next day.

Hungry Jacks: The Aussie

This deserves a photo since it's been literally years since I last had HJ. Same with KFC, which I hope to keep up my non-KFC streak. Last time I had Maccas in Aus was when they released the Big Mac chicken, but I've had more Maccas this year cause my thing of trying a cheeseburger in every country I visit, and I've been lucky enough to visit multiple countries (and compare multiple cheeseburgers at the same time).

blurry failed sunset photos

Ended up driving 2.5ish hours there before reaching to motel. Then another 2.5ish hours the next day, and then 3 hrs straight at night. It takes around 8.5 hours (well 9+ including pit stop breaks), but I think it's do-able with only 2 drivers if you switch around every 2.5hrs. Thank goodness I enjoying driving and also love driving fast, so driving on freeways is perfect. Although it's less 'stimulating' driving at night since there are no views compared to during the day. Night in a way is safer since there's less cars on the road, and less chance of reckless people tailgating/cutting in front of you. The whole road to Melbourne was super smooth, although NSW roads are a bit more well paved and have more occasional lights. Melbs not only had less lights when passing through the small rural towns, but also less light reflectors on wooden posts. Also discovered how great Waze is even though I have the app but never used it. Pretty much beats GPS since most of the time you know if a police car is ahead. I would totally use it since you don't have to update the in car GPS, but too bad not enough data.

First time having Korean coffee in a can (forgot to take a pic) for the morning drive. Also, who new kimbap is actually a pretty food road trip food since it's filling and healthy, unlike the usual road trip junk food...

driving into Melbourne, I did recognise some architecture on the freeway into Melbourne from 10 years ago

Melbourne skyline, reminds me of this NYC skyline, which was also taken on a bridge/overpass

First up was picking up a Mac Pro. I think everyone secretly knows Aus Post just chucks stuff/even if marked fragile, people don't really take care. Mainly the reason why I picked up my iPhone in store, to reduce the whole delivery/sorting process. 

We also should've researched where to park in Melbourne, to help save a bit of time, but we managed to find an ok place in the end.

did you really travel if you didn't use a geo filter?

Hardware Lane

This was my 4th time in Melbourne, but I think the cafe/food trend really grew popular after Insta and after my last trip when I just went for the tennis. So I haven't actually done a food run of Melbourne yet (God willing, hopefully next year on placement, more on that in another post).

their latte art is so pretty

Food spread at Hardware Societé

Not going to lie, going to a cafe in Melb was partly the reason I came. It does help if everyone is a more avid photographer than you, so you don't feel bad taking up time to take photos of food (or more like can take my time to take photos lol).

Matcha Intensity 8

Came here since I remembered Dandelion couldn't sleep from the matcha in it, and I needed more caffeine in a non-caffeine way. The intensity is similar to the one I had in Japan, but Jap's level 8 was actually bitter that I could only have half of it. This one is the most intense I've had in Aus, but probs a level 6.5/7 compared to the level 8 in Tokyo.

loving the pastel colours

bought some macarons to take back to Syd

they actually didn't crack surprisingly, but some water content from the filling did start to seep through to the shells

Would have liked to buy more cakes from Melbourne cafes, but they were all way too far/closed too early, and not enough time to get them

afternoon tea

meeting more new people over cute cupcakes on pretty plates

loved the cooler weather

tram lines to show it's Melbourne

Dinner at Chin Chin

Another reason to come was to try this fancy Thai restaurant. They're actually opening one up in Sydney next Monday, so I guess don't have to drive down there for this anymore haha.

Soy Matcha Ice cream

Not my ice cream since I was way too full to have any. You can taste the subtle sweetness from the soy even in the little bit I tried.

Left around 7pm, and started the drive back. Second time sleeping/napping in a car. First time was in the 12ish hour (including pit stops) road trip with the fam coming back from the Gold Coast. Maybe I'm getting old, but didn't have the energy to drive more than 3 hours even after napping. I really do need proper sleep to survive. 

would've been nicer if the clouds didn't block the sunrise

Marrickville pork roll

Pork roll for brekkie was pretty good. This was another place on my too eat list, but first time coming to this side of Sydney.

I think I've become decent at packing lightly after all the travel I've done this year. Like packing everything into a normal day bag because anything heavier I can but just ceebs lugging around on public transport. 

Ended up sleeping before 9pm and slept for almost double the amount of sleep I normally get to help 'catch up' on sleep.

I've told everyone I know this, but still need to do a proper Melbourne food run. I think next time I'll fly there to save time.

Monday, September 25, 2017


Not a typical place to find a cafe in a sort of alley way.  The menu is surprisingly extensive, and also so many choices for drinks. There's not much seating inside the cafe, so if you do want a seat, head there before the lunch hour.

food spread


Pink latte: signature beverage with notes of sweet berries and watermelon (large)-$5.50

It's so pretty! This drink was so good, loved the watermelon flavoured milk with hints of floral and berry flavour. The large is actually quite a decent size, and I think it's worth the money, compared to having it in a cone but you get a lot less, and from memory it's around $6.50. It's quite pretty in the cup as well, so unless you really want the whole #coffeeinacone insta photo, I'd recommend to have it in a cup.

Coffeevocado: Indonesian Kopi Susu mixed with hypovocado-$8.50

Interesting how they topped it with some chocolate fairy floss. Wished there was more avo, but I guess that's why they have a separate drink called Hypovocado since that's an actual avo shake. You could taste bits of the creaminess from the avo, and the coffee has a more sweeter flavour here. I think the chocolate drizzle on the glass side was too overpowering and made it a bit too sweet towards the end when it got mixed into the drink.

Super bowl: double portion mi goreng, with pork belly, salsa/chilli matah, corned beef and melted cheese, sausages and extra toppings-$20

This is definitely my fanciest mi goreng I've ever had-just look at those toppings all neatly lined up! I rarely have mi goreng at home, probably not even once a year, so I don't think I can compare what this one tastes like compared to others...At least it wasn't too oily. Would have liked the pork belly to have a bit more of a crunch from the skin, but the toppings themselves also weren't too salty. Towards the end the chilli did get a bit too much, but I think it's probably fine for people who have a 'normal' chilli tolerance.

Even though it's a small cafe with minimal seating, actual mi goreng cost is pretty cheap, but since they put nice toppings and makes it look pretty, they definitely can still make a profit out of mi goreng. 

Champion: smoked wagyu slice on toast with poached eggs and truffle hollandaise-$18


I saw that the hollandaise had truffle in it, so knew I had to try it. Obviously they used truffle oil, but wished they put in a bit more, since you can taste the truffle in the sauce on it's own, but when mixed in with everything else, can't taste the truffle in it. I think the toast is a bit small for the price and a bit more would've been nice to help soak up all the yolk and sauce. There wasn't much beef and found the smokiness was a bit subtle. This eggs benny is average, but I loved how they sprinkled some rose petals on it.

I wouldn't mind coming back here to try some of their other drinks. 

Kusuka Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato