658 Church St, Richmond - ph: (03) 9429 4332
Top Paddock is the newest venture from the guys behind Three Bags Full in Abbotsford, Two Birds One Stone in South Yarra and the original Liar Liar in Hawthorn. In sum, it comes with pedigree.
It's interesting how I came across Top Paddock. I drive by Church St nearly every day on my way to work and the moment the cafe opened, I could tell (from my moving car!!) that it was a cool place just by its look and vibe - it felt right.
As much as I was excited about giving it a try, I was put off by the long waiting queues outside every time I tried venturing to Top Paddock for a weekend brunch. Nothing justifies waiting in line on a Sunday morning for breakfast in my opinion.
Hubby and I ended up waiting for the buzz to die down a bit before we visited with a couple of friends from Sydney who were in town for the weekend last month and wanted to try something new.
The cafe is huge and we were able to get a table straight away when we arrived around 10.30am on a Sat morning (a small queue started forming outside around 11am).
Having been to the other cafes from these guys, I was kind of expecting more of the same - good quality food (always perfect eggs), sizeable dishes and good coffee all served in a casual cafe style.
I was blown away when our dishes came to the table. The presentation was 'new level s**t' and the dishes looked more like fine dining plates than anything you'd find at a cafe.
|Cured ocean trout with pickled baby beetroot, potato galette, poached egg and goats curd ($18.50)|
Our friend's ocean trout looked amazing and all ingredients were perfectly cooked. The egg yolks were soft and runny. He thoroughly enjoyed his dish - more like lunch than breakfast - and wiped his plate clean.
|Pine mushrooms with chilli scrambled eggs on toast ($15.50)|
His girlfriend's eggs might not have the same artistic presentation, but tasted just as good. The chillies added a nice kick to the start of the day.
|Bircher muesli with natural yoghurt and green tea poached fruit ($12.50)|
Looking back, I should probably have ordered something a bit more creative than bircher muesli. But I was after something sweet and filling that morning and just couldn't go past the green tea poached fruit. I loved my dish - hearty and tasty just as I expected - but couldn't really taste the green tea in the poached pear at all... so a bit disappointed by that.
|Ricotta hot cakes with berries, maple syrup and mascarpone ($15.50)|
Hubby went for the ricotta hot cakes and boy was I happy about it! I was staring so intently at his dish that he ended up agreeing to swap with me half way through so that I could get a good taste of it.
The hot cakes were crunchy on the outside and super fluffy in the middle. The slightly sour berries were a great match to the sweet ricotta and maple syrup. Most decadent brekkie I've had in a while.
Now, to the coffees. Coffee is clearly a focus for Top Paddock and options abound.
Hubby really liked his choice of the single origin coffee of the day in a ristretto.
Top Paddock managed to surpass my already high expectations. Not only was the quality of the food impressive, their attention to detail on presentation was beyond anything I've seen before. Truly impressive and most certainly worth a try.