Breakfast at POP Restaurant, Hardware Lane

hardware lane melbourne

Breakfast at Hardware Lane is one of the greatest Melbourne institutions. Hardware Lane is filled with tiny little sidewalk cafes that crowds into each other, every one vying for your attention and crammed with people eating and drinking coffee.

breakfast hardware lane

It’s more of the coffee culture and the breakfast (they also serve lunch, of course) that I go for. POP Restaurant is one of the most well known nowadays, offering modern Australian cuisine. Part of the ambiance of Hardware Lane is the people stuffed into small tables and chairs on both sides of the narrow lane.

pop restaurant melbourne

I wanted Ling to experience this so we took a tram to Elizabeth Street and walked over to Hardware Lane. I remember making this very same commute 10 years back. πŸ™‚


POP Restaurant has their POP Breakfast from 9 am – 3 pm on weekends. It’s basically an all-day breakfast or close enough to make no difference.

Atlantic poached eggs, salmon and hollandaise (AUD 14.50)

atlantic poached eggs

There are various sides on offer – bacon, hash brown, sausage, mushroom, spinach, baked beans, ham, avocado, grilled tomato, salmon, prosciutto, parmesan and hollandaise sauce. You can add one for AUD 3 for choose a package of 2 or 3 sides for AUD 5.50 and AUD 7.50 respectively.

bacon avocado salmon

I added on bacon, avocado and ham but they forgot my ham and I didn’t want it by the time it came out. Thus, this breakfast set me back AUD 19.50 which isn’t too bad if you don’t convert. It’s almost RM 63 if you do. πŸ˜‰

French Toast with rhubarb and almonds (AUD 14.50)

french toast rhubarb almonds

This is what she ordered from the Sweet Tooth menu. I thought it was pretty good – I like the rhubarb jam on top of the nicely done French Toast and the sprinkling of almonds but she thought it was the worst French Toast she ever had.

poached eggs

My bad, dear. I gave her some of my breakfast instead.

pop restaurant

It showered slightly (as weather in Melbourne tend to do) in the middle of our breakfast so we shifted slightly inside so the patio covers the worst of the rain.

pop restuarant bill

I like the service at POP Restaurant, I’ve always had positive experiences at Hardware Lane in Melbourne. Granted, I only go for breakfast, but that’s the most important meal. πŸ˜‰ The waitress apologized for messing up my order when I asked for the bill (they forgot the ham) and told me the other two sides I ordered are on the house. I thought that was a really nice gesture.

hardware lane breakfast

I ended up tipping her just about the same amount so the karma balances out. smirk

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26 thoughts on “Breakfast at POP Restaurant, Hardware Lane”

  1. The jam was delicious but not the toast. Guess, I still prefer the ‘Char Chan Teng’ french toast.LOL!!

    The cappuccino was great too!

    • Yeah, I’ve always liked the coffee in Melbourne. πŸ™‚

      There’s a great coffee culture there. I thought the French toast was alright though. Haha.

      I liked the service from the greater with the red auburn hair, that’s the better waitress I was talking about dear.

      Sorry you didn’t like the French toast.

    • Yup, they’re AUD 3 each, the sides, although they have 2 and 3 add-on deals. πŸ™‚

      I like breakfast in Australia, they’re generally very good, with great coffee, but I’m partial to Hardware Lane.

      I used to have breakfast here when I was in uni 10 years back. Hardware Lane is still a great place for breakfast if you’re in Melbourne.

    • Yeah, it’s actually cheaper than KL prices if you don’t convert. πŸ™‚

      An equal breakfast here, say in TDH, would cost near RM 30! Some places are more expensive, that’s just the place I go to usually.

      There’s certainly no AUD 3 sides here, it’ll be at least double.

      I reckon the breakfasts in Melbourne are the ones I miss the most.

  2. The place looks very nice and my kind of ambiance to have coffee & cakes! The prices looked killing but this is what we have to pay for visiting overseas! I love all those sweet indulgences you all had! So yummy lah!

    • It’s actually a lot cheaper than KL if you just look at the price and don’t convert. The portions are generous too! πŸ™‚

      Hardware Lane is a well known breakfast destination in Melbourne.

      It also serves lunch and dinner of course, POP Restaurant serves a very nice dinner from the looks of the menu but I’ve only gone there for breakfast coz of the ambiance.

      The warm sun, the chattering people squeezed into tiny tables on both sides, the cool weather. I love it.

    • Yeah, it’s expensive if you convert – RM 63. πŸ™‚

      However, it’s pretty cheap on a dollar to dollar basis. It’s cheaper than similar breakfasts in KL – say, at TDH.

    • Yeah, it’s the best place for breakfast in Melbourne eh? πŸ™‚

      I think QV Market is good too, but that was *after* my time. Haha! It’s all about Hardware Lane during my time, and it helps that it’s just a stone’s throw away from where Hard Kandy used to be (Bourke St and then after the move to dex nightclub).

    • Indeed! The service is excellent in Hardware Lane, always had positive experiences there. πŸ™‚

      The chef and waitress said noticed that I was waiting for something, and they thought it was the latte and by the time they asked (tables were filled to capacity at that time with 1 waitress and 1 greeter/waitress), I had almost finished my meal so they apologized and said the sides were on the house. I paid for the basic Atlantic poached eggs with salmon only.

      I liked that the chef personally came out to apologize for the mess up too.

  3. HB, too bad Ling did not like her breakfast. Rhubard is strange to me still. In high school cooking class my teacher was going to make rhubard pie and showed class how rhubard look like. To me it look like a celery plant still. It sour for sure so need lot of sugar to make pie out of it. after done baking I still think I am eating a celery pie instead of rhubard pie.

    • I don’t think it was the rhubarb she didn’t like. πŸ™‚

      That is pretty good stuff. She just didn’t like the French toast. I have another favorite cafe in Hardware Lane but it seemed to have closed down – I went to both ends but couldn’t find it.

      Yeah, rhubarb pie is awesome stuff!

    • Yup, it’s the entire package! πŸ™‚

      The ambiance, the people, the sunlight in autumn (with the occasional drizzle as Melbourne is prone to give you).

      I just like the sidewalk cafes in Hardware Lane. You can just chill and have a beer or coffee too and people watch. The lane is closed to traffic, so it’s pedestrians only.

    • The coffee is awesome! πŸ™‚

      Don’t need to worry about being run down by errant drivers in roadside mamaks too – Hardware Lane is a pedestrian only street. Haha!

      I like poached eggs, I always have that for breakfast if given the choice. It’s very good if done well, goes well with salmon and bacon.

      Come to think of it, I had a similar breakfast last time I was in Australia (2011 – Byron Bay) too.

    • Yup, a proper cooked breakfast with carbs and lots of protein (and coffee) is a great start to the day. πŸ™‚

      I was pretty full until evening, we both were, coz it was a very late breakfast. I like the concept of late breakfasts, I usually can’t wake up early enough for 7 am breakfasts so the Hardware Lane 9 am – 3 pm is perfect for me.

    • Yeah, and I forgot to put up the photo of the latte! That’s pretty good too, love the boutique coffee beans they use. πŸ™‚

      I totally agree Mel!

      It’s much cheaper than our breakfast here if you don’t convert the prices. Breakfast at a similar place e.g. TDH would cost around RM 30 and we wouldn’t have the great coffee or the sides.

      Hardware Lane is my favorite place for breakfast while I was there, although I must admit, crappy as the Halls of Residence (university residence) food is, their breakfast is decent. Heh!

    • Yup, I totally enjoyed my time in Melbourne! πŸ™‚

      I’m going to do one last post to recap everything that we did and then it’s the cooking post! We only slept 2 hours the last day coz I insisted on cooking kangaroo meat. It was a kangaroo roast to boot!

      I think I did an alright job though – stayed at a serviced apartment with cooking facilities so I could do just that. Thanks Mei!


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