I couldn’t help but fall in love. Stepping into Bistro Vue is like being transported to the countryside of Provence. I was entirely convinced that when I looked out the window, I would see nothing but an expanse of tall grass and wild lavender. It is every bit the rustic French bistro it aims to be, and everything is so frigging adorable that I wanted to steal it all.
Why can’t romantic lighting and good photos go hand in hand? Before my food blogging (or flogging, as K cheekily calls it) days, the dim moody lighting at Aspro Ble would have delighted me, and it still does, except now it comes with a side serve of ‘how the heck am I going to make these photos blog-presentable?’ Located right at the top end of the somewhat notorious and tourist-trappy Hardware Lane, Aspro Ble is the treasure at the end of the spruiker gauntlet. Decorated in understated yet lively blue and white, I was immediately put in mind of the Mediterranean, which is just as well, because this quaint little eatery serves some of the best Greek food I’ve ever…
The only thing I dislike about brunch is having to get up so very early in the morning, especially during uni holidays. So the brunch had better be pretty darned good for me to crawl out of bed at 8:30 in 4 degree weather. Thankfully, Cafe Vue delivers. Cafe Vue occupies a small niche on the side of the Normandy Chambers, next to its famous 3 hatted big brother, Vue de Monde. Cafe Vue is often known as ‘the people’s Vue’ due to its affordable prices, without the compromise on quality. One read through the menu had me regretting that we weren’t here for lunch, but thankfully the brunch options looked equally mouth-watering.
Chris and I nabbed 3 macarons to share – cherry blossom and sake, lemon, and caramel and sea salt ($2.5ea). The cherry blossom and sake unfortunately didn’t taste much of either, but the texture was perfect. The lemon macaron also had a perfect shape and texture, on top of a wonderful lemon flavour, though I would’ve preferred it to be more tart. As for the caramel and sea salt (the standard by which I judge all my macarons), it was surprisingly dense – maybe I just got a bad one? But the flavour was out of this world, and I loved how they used actual caramel in the middle.
The food at Hardware Societe is like the perfect boyfriend. It’s wonderful, it cheers you up on a bad day, it’s good looking, and it’s just that little bit different. And seeing as we’re practically dating Hardware Societe anyway, Chris and I decided that it was the perfect spot for a special brunch date. Ask anyone who has dined here, and they will tell you that there is no shortage of things to look at whilst you wait for your food. The interior is industrial chic, with floral wallpaper courting naked light bulbs dangling from the ceiling, and the grey-and-yellow colour scheme is sophisticated and charming all at once. Pastries and tarts are piled on top of the counter, with…
Because you can never have too many good sandwiches. No more than 10 days after our last visit, we were back, and this time we went with le Normand (ham, French brie, butter, lettuce and tomato, $8.50). Everything in the baguette was fairly standard (though of course, wonderfully fresh), but the gooey French brie was what tied it all together, it’s soft creaminess almost a halfway between a cheese and a sauce. Chris originally wanted the chicken one (which I had before and can confirm that it is great), but we flipped a coin and I won. So there. And it’s not like he complained about the one we got anyway.