This is the newest cafe to open up in the northern beaches suburbs… you know those places we used to go on school holidays in the 80’s that are now part of the metro area? What was an old hardware store has now been transformed by local chefs, Beth and Pascal, into a cafe at the small Quinns Rocks shopping area. In keeping with the theme, Hardware Cafe has toolboxes for cutlery, jars full of keys for table numbers and a feature wall of “tool shadows”. Strangely their logo reminds me a little of the Torres Strait Island flag. I gave them a few weeks grace before visiting for a review – I really wanted this place to be good… these suburbs need it.
Andy and I walked in and were greeted by the beaming smile of one of the staff who said we could sit anywhere and order at the counter when we were ready. There are tables out the front, booths and a nice little courtyard at the back to choose from. I’m not sure how appealing it is to sit out the front facing the car park with hoards of people pulling in to buy their weekend paper but the court yard is a great outside alternative.
The menu is basic but offers a lot of option with their “DIY breakfasts” where you can build your own breakfast just the way you like it. $2.70 each for bacon, sausage, egg or mushrooms; $1.70 each for beans, tomato, hashbowns, spinach or avocado; $3.20 for two slices of sourdough. Prices peak and a low $13.90 for a choice of two omelettes, eggs florentine or eggs benedict.
The coffee used at Hardware is Fiori – a better than average brand of beans that can produce good coffee by a barista that knows their stuff. The coffee was surprising and admittedly I was expecting the worst – but this was creamy, smooth and at just the right temperature. Congratulations – best coffee in the area goes to Hardware Cafe!
My omelette of tomato, spinach, mushrooms, shredded cheddar and herbs ($13.90) was more filling than egg. You know when you get an omelette and it’s usually like an egg pancake with a sprinkling of filling the middle? Well this was the complete opposite. The egg could barely hold together the fresh chunks of tomato, crunchy spinach and soft mushroom. It wasn’t too overloaded with cheese and made for a light non-greasy breakfast.
Andy went with the DIY breakfast, selecting bacon, eggs, hash brown and a sausage ($9.80). I hate eggs being cooked in rings, poach pods etc, it seems lazy and isn’t the point of a fried egg to get the then crispy bits around the edge? Despite this, they were perfect with “just” done whites and warm runny yolks. The didn’t scrimp on the bacon either making this well and truly worth every “under $10” cent. The BBQ sausage wasn’t bad and what can you say about a packet hash bown? We know we all secretly love them – except when it’s on an over priced breakfast.
Hardware Cafe isn’t trying to be like one of the trendy cafe’s in Mt Lawley or Leederville (and is not being reviewed in comparison), it is filling a gap in the area and offering up homestyle breakfast and good coffee at an extremely reasonable price. Other places I have reviewed are charging over $20 for the same thing these guys are charging around $13 for. It makes me even more annoyed about the time we payed over $24 for a breakfast of tinned beans and frozen hashbrowns at Penny Garden. I am so glad to welcome this cafe to the area – especially for their great coffee! Let’s hope the locals help keep them alive.
Quinns Village Shopping Centre, 121 Quinns Rd, Quinns Rocks
Breakfast served all day from 7am week days & 8am weekends