Breakfast is evidently the most important meal of the day and to keep my tummy in a well balanced satisfisfaction I made my way to The Hardware Societe before the morning peak hour. I previously mentioned my last visit here was lunch and it caused such a hype for me to try it again. This time I didn’t have to go behind the line, nor hear out their staff callout names from the scribbled recycled paper.
I’ve always quite enjoyed their thoughtful recommendations and friendly services despite it being a packed cafe. The cafe is surrounded with quirky items, freshly baked bread that perfumed the entire cafe and bottled sauce jars to stock up in your pantry. But my most favourite display is their colourful rainbow French made lollipop stand sitting at the pay counter. It must be the bright colours that caught my attention.
The Scrambled Eggs with Ocean Trout ($16) presented in creamy scrambled eggs at the bottom, shredded ocean trout drenched in aioli sauce, garnished with sliced cucumber and organic greens served with a few slices of baguette. This dish was quite pleasing especially when I dipped my warm soft slice of baguette into the centre of the cold trout and warm scrambled eggs; enticing!
Scrambled Eggs with Ocean Trout ($16)
Our obsession for eggs wasn’t complete until we tried their delicious Omelette ($15) . The fluffy omelette served with truffled creamy goats cheese, green peas and decorated in greens with slices of baguette was scrumptious! Ah..That baguette was so addictive!
And oh so heavenly Chai Latte ($3.50) served with a bite size sugar cover donut to balance out my tastebuds.
Chai Latte ($3.50)
Fast forward a few hours and I was in front of a dark narrow staircase that is the entrance to Mamasita for lunch. Due to a number of friends recommending me this place I was quite eager to give it a try. Mamasita offers a large selection of Mexican cuisine such as tapas, quesadillas and bite size morsels. But the real reason was to get my hands on their Elotes callejeros ($4.90) each. The chargrilled “Street Style” corn served with queso, chipotle mayo that looked like graded melted cheese and a wedge of lime to add the extra tasty tantalizing flavour.
Elotes callejeros ($4.90) each
The next recommended dish by my friend was the adorable kids size 2.5 inch fried tortilla with any of the toppings from the menu. Each order was served with 4 tostaditas and so we ordered de Carnitas ($14) that was freaking glorious! Chunks of juicy braised pork shoulder, encurtidos, pickled jalapeño & chicharron felt like an explosion of flavours in my mouth. The de Pollo 14 ($14) came with shredded chargrilled chicken, mashed avocado, a smudge of chipotle mayo & a spoonful of queso fresco added the extra kick.
de Carnitas ($14)
de Pollo 14 ($14)
Now the Tacos , 6 inch soft shell tortilla with any fillings displayed in the menu. We ordered de Camarones ($7) each wrapped inside marinated prawns, slices of large red chili and drizzled in chipotle almond salsa.
We couldn’t just try one taco when we are in a Mexican restaurant, so we also ordered estilo al Pastor ($6) each shredded al pastor-style pork. sweet and sour juicy grilled pineapple, chopped white onion and strands of coriander. It was very refreshing and tangy with tropical flavours.
With the Tacos the waitress also arrived with a small plate of tangy salad to nibble on as well.
Clutching our stomaches we couldn’t leave without giving dessert a try. And so to ease into our de Maíz ($6) sweet corn ice cream with a hint of cameral and topped with salted popcorn. It was more comfortable to ask for a take away and eat while we do some window shopping along the way.
de Maíz ($6)
By the time I finished my toothsome treat and roamed around Melbourne’s CBD I immediately stopped and saw a lovely artistic graffiti wall starring back at me I turned my head left and an alley way was there, crowded with people. Of course curiosity had striked! So I followed my eyes towards the packed atmosphere. I peaked around to see what the fuss was about and the next minute I knew I was in a line at Manchester’s Press Cafe, a hidden cafe tucked right where the entrance is beside a few garage doors. It is such an inner city Melbourne gem, especially a great place to stop by during shopping breaks. It was my third meal of the day in less than eight hours, I questioned if I had any more room in my stomach left.
As we were still in line, new comers started to line up. However I wasn’t pleased with the waiting management system as two couples were escorted in first before us as they had just arrived. Although luckily a group of people had just left and so seconds later we got in.
The place looks industrial and rustic. If you glance around they have a massive bowling ball pin tucked in one corner. I really wanted to go up to it and take a photo, but it was too embarrassing. Next visit I will! Service approach is slightly above average, but I guess the staff were all drained as it was almost the end of the day for them and still crazy packed inside and out.
Amazingly tasty toasted bagels is a must try here! I ordered the 12 Hour Roasted Pull Pork ($14) served in a poppy seed bagel. The warm bagel was well portion size served with freshly cut lettuce, drizzled BBQ sauce and homemade apple slaw that was surprisingly perfect! I think I left this world and landed on a holy land of apples; refreshing!
12 Hour Roasted Pull Pork ($14)
Besides the fantastic bagels and sweet cakes, their coffee here is one of a kind, especially when it comes to presentation. The Flat White ($3.50) was beyond disappointment. Even during busiest hours the barristers sure know how create unbelievable coffee art that pleases many customers, more so on the ladies. Teehee.
Flat White ($3.50)
My first time ever receiving coffee presented like this to me before! Not too sure if it’s a genie in a Bob the builder hat or an Indian man…:P Anyways the Mocha ($4) was indeed my favourite drink of the day. It had a very strong aroma that is overall a very good coffee.
I except my next visit there would have even more creative coffee art!
To sum up Machester Press is an awesome joint to check out whenever you are in Melbourne and need a coffee break or have cravings for bagels.