Sunday, January 11, 2015

Top Paddock

One critical item on any itinerary when in Melbourne is to enjoy brunch with some friends. Indeed, what better way to spend a sunny Sunday afternoon than catching up with friends over a Melbourne coffee and good food.

Top Paddock was a central location and given we were after a late lunch, seemed a good option to for delicious grub and (hopefully) not to long of a wait. Getting there at 2pm meant we snagged a table without effort as their rush hours seem to coincide with more traditional brunch times.

First order of the day was to get some caffeine into me (long black, no sugar) - living in the US, you really appreciate how wonderful Melbourne coffee is. Don't you lucky Melbourne residents take this for granted, ok?

The coffee is Five Senses, and much of the produce is locally sourced (from paddock to table, get it?). The menu itself is typical brunch fare;  almost all the dishes featured some kind of egg but there were still enough variety, and an interesting Spanish spin, that deciding what to eat was still a difficult choice.

I ended up with this:

Roasted kipfler potato & leek omelette with padron peppers & taleggio on toast
Not particularly pretty but very patriotic with the green and gold. Since my last trip to Spain, I've had a craving for padron peppers. This didn't really satisfy the cravings given they were really for the roasted peppers, smothered in salt, with the occasional hot one to spice things up. 

I digress however, and this omelette was rich and filling, and the flavours worked together quite well, although I wish I had added a sprinkle of salt over the top. Really, that was my fault given I had ordered it without the taleggio (and got teasingly reprimanded by the waiter for that). I can appreciate how the addition of the cheese would have completed the dish. 

My dining companion were happy with there orders too, and in the process, taught me quite a lot about all the different types of cheese on offer.

Grilled broccolini & sugar snaps with avocado, toasted almonds, poached eggs & heidi racelette on toast
White anchovies & Jamon serrano with fried eggs, padron peppers & manchego on toast
Eggs benedict: poached eggs with hamhock & béarnaise on toast
Did I mention that I really, really miss Melbourne brunches?

Overall, it's understandable why Top Paddock is so popular. The coffee is great, the produce is fresh and mostly local, the dishes are interesting and the waitstaff are friendly and efficient. The space is airy and on a beautiful day, the patio is wonderful to relax on. What's not to love about Top Paddock,  except for the almost guaranteed wait for a table that is. 

Top Paddock
658 Church Street, Richmond
Mon-Fri 7am-4pm, Sat-Sun 8am-4pm

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