Top Paddock Cafe. Richmond, Melbourne

No trip to Melbourne is complete without brunch at one of the city’s most raved about café joints – Top Paddock. So obviously, its one of my must-visits when I’m in town.

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Sitting alongside fancy furniture warehouses and creative agencies at the end of Church St., Top Paddock fits right in with its ingenious, sophisticated space. Think timber panels. White tiled walls. Industrial ceilings.

And a whole lot of seating options from communal tables to the charming outdoor area.

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Walk through the front wooden door and get hit by the smell of freshly brewed coffee, Five Senses house-blend to be exact, and mixed scents of baked goods and hot plates. It’s usually a longer wait on Sundays, but you can always grab a nibble at the front counter to avoid hitting the FUNGRY point. I tend to get a spot at the communal table within 10-20mins depending on the time of day.

The Menu. It’s an imaginative and tempting list that sets you salivating even from a simple read and your hunger may probably try to take over. Homemade mueslis, blueberry and ricotta hotcakes, slow cooked Kurobuta pork shoulder and soft-shell crab roll – do I really need to say more? But what I’d say is, play it smart. Pick what you’re really dying for that isn’t the same as the rest of the table then grab a communal favorite to share. When in doubt, their friendly waiters are more than happy to help with house recommendations.

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I loved my morning homemade muesli topped by a green tea poached pear and colorful flowers, paired with an aromatic cup of chai. Round the table we also had the chilli scramble and gin and lime cured trout, which was every bit flaky and moist.

And how could we pass up an order of the crazed ricotta hotcakes, which had a crusty exterior, fluffy cake-like centre topped with fresh berries, mixed seeds, double cream and a fairy dusting of dehydrated berry powder. Now that was a perfect #instaworthy shot.

Every plate carried TP’s signature, a stunning presentation with delicate touches of micro herbs and florals. But more importantly it had the flavors to match, hitting the sweet spot and balance. Nothing kicks of the day better than a satisfying bite.

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For me, Top Paddock is compelling. Its respect for and use of fresh, quality and locally sourced produce offers a unique and memorable experience that would draw people back time and again. And that’s where I know I’ll be the next time round…

 

Top Paddock

658 Church St, Richmond

toppaddockcafe.com

03 9429 4432

Mon-Fri: 7am – 4pm

Weekends & PH: 8am – 4pm

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