120 Hardware St
The Hardware Societe is a cosy cafe in the CBD offering rustic French and Spanish influenced creations. Bun and I rocked up at about 2:25pm, to discover that the kitchen is only open till 2:30pm. Thankfully though, the owners said we could still order, as long as we did so quickly.
I scanned the menu and chose the first thing that caught my eye - veal & rabbit terrine with cumin, carrot & orange relish and pickles. I had no idea what a terrine was, and was expecting some sort of meat stew dish. Then the waiter presented this in front of me.
Turns out a terrine is a french style mixture of lean meat emulsified with fat - similar to pâté. It reminded me of spam - that disgusting (delicious according to Bun) wobbly "meat" in a can. Terrine is served at room temperature, and this immediately had me thinking of the various forms of bacteria growing in the meat which lowered its appeal even more. The actual taste was not so bad. By itself the terrine was a bit bland and had the texture of canned tuna, but together with the sour pickles and sweet relish was much livelier. At this point I was jealously eyeing off Bun's delicious looking and smelling lamb dish.
I politely offered Bun a taste of my terrine, and he enjoyed it so immensely he decided he would eat it, and I could have what he ordered instead (rejoice!). Bun decided on the braised lamb with prunes, preserved lemon, pedro ximénez (a dessert wine) and israeli cous cous.
This dish was a little too sweet for my liking. But the lamb was cooked very well, super tender and oozing with meaty goodness. The Israeli cous cous was very different to any other cous cous I've tried. These had the look and texture of sago balls, with a distinctive nutty flavour.
To finish we couldn't resist trying the macarons on display above the counter. We unfortunately report that these were the worst macarons we've ever tasted. They don't even warrant a photo. Let's just say these 'macarons' did not present any of the qualities a good macaron should have - crunchy shell (fail), chewy inner (double fail).
Based on what I tried this time I probably would not come back. Bun says he would come back for the terrine (wtf).