Hard Pressed – The Overview…
On the outskirts of the city, Hard Pressed has great coffee and a classic Melbourne brunch. Suiting both casual work meetings and catch ups with friends, you’ll love its relaxed atmosphere while maintaining a close proximity to the CBD.
Food: Eggs Benedict, Granola Bowl
Inside Hard Pressed is fairly small, adorned with dark wood floors and bare brick walls. There’s some interesting little details to the decor such as the mural across the back and the unusual bricks separating the different areas. The green accents are almost reminiscent of an old fashioned train station. It’s a pleasant, classic and grown up place to enjoy brunch. There are a few tables out front if you fancy dining al fresco, but you definitely lose some of that traditional cafe vibe if you choose this option.
The menu retains this classic theme: think smashed avo, chilli scramble and porridge. There’s lighter bites too, like BLT or toasted sandwiches and some great coffee from These Days Coffee Roasting. It’s just unpretentious, Melbourne brunch staples. Portions are generous, and while they can get a little busy at peak times, you’ll get friendly service with a smile!
We tried the eggs benedict and the granola bowl. The eggs benedict came well loaded with pork. Lacking in colour it doesn’t jump off the plate at you as a “wow” dish but as soon as we popped the perfectly cooked egg our mouths were watering. It’s one of those dishes where you really have to get everything on the fork to fully appreciate how delicious it is. We liked how it was served on one chunky piece of bread rather than two thinner smaller pieces. It gave a much better eating experience and balanced the dish out well. There’s nothing fancy, you won’t find sriracha hidden in your hollandaise, or Vietnamese mint under that sauce – it’s a classic pork benny. Simple, well executed and oh so filling!
The granola was really tasty. Simple but elegant, topped with a good range of fruit, yoghurt and a couple of edible flowers. It looked gorgeous and again, it was a huge serve. While we would have loved a little bit more yoghurt, as we’d run out by the time we reached the bottom of the bowl, we really enjoyed how all the fresh flavours combined together. The fruit on top was perfect too! While there’s always a time and a place for “fancy”, Hard Pressed has to be that place to go when you just want a good Melbourne brunch classic; where you don’t have to google any of the ingredients, ask the waiter how to pronounce your dish (what do you mean it’s not called an ak-ay bowl?) or try to work out if you’re supposed to eat everything on the plate. I know I’ll be trying the smashed avo next time too!
Address: 76 Wellington Parade, East Melbourne
Mon 7am to 4pm
Tue 7am to 4pm
Wed 7am to 4pm
Thu 7am to 4pm
Fri 7am to 4pm
Sat 8am to 4pm
Sun 8am to 4pm
Parking: While most of the parking is 1P there is a fair amount of street parking nearby, including right out the front of the cafe.
Getting here on PT: You can take the 48 or 75 tram and alight at Simpson Street/Wellington Parade. Alternatively, the closest station is Jolimont, which is less than a 5 minute walk. However, if it’s a nice day, it’s actually a lovely walk from Flinders Street, through Fitzroy Gardens and Treasury Gardens.
Disclaimer: We dined as guests of Hard Pressed, East Melbourne. Reviews are honest and based on our own personal experiences. We cannot guarantee things at a restaurant won’t change including, but not limited to, menu items and opening hours, so please confirm any details with the venue before visiting.