I love going out for breakfast but sometimes I find myself feeling lazy at the thought of having to line up and wait it out with hoards of fellow brekkyphiles. As the weather starts warming up though it becomes the perfect time to start venturing out again in the mornings and enjoy a meal out.
There’s a long list of places that sit on my dining wish list, and one of those is the Hardware Store Cafe in Scarborough. I got my chance one Friday morning before work when my best friend Carly and I caught up for a quick bite there.
Arriving just before 7am the cafe is bright, airy and full of natural light. It’s a bit of a hipster’s paradise with a keen commitment to the hardware theme. Think recycled pallets, light coloured timber, tool boxes and even tools and wheelbarrows hanging on the walls.
I’ve been once before to grab a takeaway juice and coffee with Carly and have to admit I was a bit put off by the prices. But nonetheless I decided to return and give it a go – I’ve heard really good things about the food!
Looking at the menu there’s some great sounding dishes like mushroom bruschetta and toasted tortillas with saffron fried eggs. But it was definitely easy to pick what to order for me, while Carly took her time to peruse the menu before making her choice. We then made our way up to the counter to place our orders and pay, before settling down into our chairs and chatting.
Our drinks come out to the table quickly – Carly’s long black steaming hot and my watermelon, strawberry and cloudy apple juice looking at home in it’s mason jar-esque mug. I’ve recently had a terrible watermelon juice at Addison and Steele (my first time there damn!) which was old and almost stale in taste, so this was a chance to revive my normal level of love for the fruit juice.
At around $7.00 (from memory) it definitely needed to be great. It frustrates me how much fresh juice costs here in Perth whereas when I’m in Melbourne or Sydney I can get it for $4-5 and in Singapore – a relatively expensive Asian country – it’s around the $2 mark (at most). Nonetheless despite the price tag, I’m really glad I ordered this juice at Hardware Store. It was sweet, refreshing and well balanced with all the fruits present in the flavour profile. It definitely went down a treat and was the perfect brekky companion.
Carly’s breakfast order of ‘eggs your way’ ($12.00) was for poached eggs with gluten free toast, with a side of bacon ($4.00) and marinated feta ($2.00). The poached eggs came out runny and happily orange inside. I love how much feta they gave her considering the low price – it was definitely generous and I was more than happy to accept her offer for me to share some. We both have a ridiculous love of cheese (and both suffer from lactose intolerance) so it’s an obsession/burden we can connect with.
My order of the herb crumbed poached eggs ($21.00) came out with serrano ham, a chive and potato rosti and hollandaise. It was supposed to have pickled enoki mushrooms in the dish according to the menu but it was only when I was nearly finished that I realised they were missing. What a shame as I love my mushrooms!
The dish was really tasty and a great spin on your traditional eggs benedict. Replacing the english muffin/breaded component with the chive and potato rosti made for a great vessel full of delicious flavour and texture. I loved the use of jamon serrano which is always a crowd pleaser – soft, thin and melt in your mouth strips of dry cured ham. I’m a bit of a fiend for my cold cuts so it was a given I’d be drawn to this dish.
The eggs were poached spot on, oozing yolk as my fork penetrated the surface. I got so caught up enjoying the meal and the zingy hollandaise (which had more vinegar than others I’ve had but was a nice fresh change to the more creamy versions around) that I forgot to take the obligatory yolk porn shot. I guess you’ll have to take my word that it was very yolky and very porny.
All up it was a great meal at the Hardware Store Cafe and I’m really glad that I gave it a go in the end. I do think that for a juice and hot meal $28 is definitely steeper than I would feel justified – I know businesses have expenses and the rent would definitely not be cheap in that area, but I think that across the board prices are just getting too high for breakfast. Bring it under $20 for the dish and I would have said it was on the money.
But outside of my rant of prices (and yes I know to a degree it’s all relative based on income and cost of living here in Perth) the food and drinks were tasty and hit the spot perfectly, setting me up for a great Friday with a full belly. I think I’ll need to go for breakfast dates before work more often! And I’m sure Hardware Store will be on that list of venues seeing as it’s so close to my work. I’m looking forward to trying some of their other dishes soon.