Breakfast is by far my favorite meal of the day, its something I always look forward to, and if it was socially acceptable, I would eat it for lunch and dinner as well. On this particular sunny morning, with literally nothing in my house to make breakfast with except some corn thins, one egg and a pot of pickled limes, my stomach wanted something light, but delicious and my head was screaming “Top Paddock!!!”
Okay, that sounds a bit strange… but let me explain.
If you are a usual café go-er or drink stupid amounts of coffee like myself, you would have heard of the successful cluster of Cafes that include Three Bags Full and Two Birds One Stone. The newest addition to the family is Top Paddock, and to me it looks like the owners have pulled together the best aspects of its related cafes to produce something truly gorgeous.
Found on trendy Church Street in Richmond just before it turns into Chapel Street, you could actually pass this café several times without ever really noticing it was there. In its particularly busy location, surrounded by several modern living and trendy furniture stores, it looks like an extension to an office with the black frames and greenery disguising it.
Once inside, my boyfriend and I had a look around and realized just how huge this place really is. It would seat over 80 easily, accommodating for crowds of all sizes with secluded spots or big tables spread both inside and out.
We were faced with the hard task of choosing where we would like to sit – outside, inside, communal tables, at the bar, in a booth and the list of possibilities goes on…
We chose the bar!
As we placed our coffee orders and were given our menus, I scanned the room to see some of the other dishes that had been ordered. I saw a lot of avocados, several fruity Birchers, and a few people on iPhones taking photos – no doubt instagraming the beautiful, colorful food in front of them.
The coffee arrives. My long black came, just under ‘hot’ but it was still enjoyable. The Five Senses blend wasn’t too bitter and I imagine would appeal to a lot of people. It came with a cute shot of soda water on the side to ‘cleanse the palate’ described the waitress. It was unexpected and quite a nice touch.
His flat white didn’t really hit the mark. It seemed a bit watery and stock standard as he described it wasn’t as good as Three Bags Full. Due to the small cup size, we were both still craving caffeine shortly after we left, and that meant take-aways from somewhere close by.
Picking off the menu was harrrrrrddddd!!! And I mean really hard! I wanted to order a good majority of the menu in that one sitting. But finally, after calming down and realizing this place isn’t going anywhere and that I can come back anytime, I picked something that seemed to be the most popular dish in the room.
Barham avocado with lime and sea salt on sourdough, $12.00 and although it is quite plain, it was delicious with the added element of fun.
I loved the fact that I had to construct my own smashed avocado for breakfast and I can’t decide if it makes the chef look lazy, or just really clever as it means one less thing for him to do! It was a very generous serving of a perfectly ripe avocado, and although I was given two good-sized pieces of toast, I couldn’t finish the whole half. This was the case with most people and to me it seems like a bit of a waste. In my opinion, they could be saving a bit of money if they portioned it a little better.
My boyfriend went for the Three mushroom omelet (enoki, shitake and oyster) with bean sprouts and toast, $16.00. Although decent sized and well presented, he was quite let down as he felt his Asian inspired eggs were missing something.
After much discussion we thought maybe more herbs (aside from the few mint sprigs on top), some chili or even some cheese would have given it the kick it had sadly misplaced.
Lucky for him, I had some avocado to spare, which he happily spread on his toast and demolished in seconds flat.
As our meals came to an end, I was curious to check out the little ‘take-away’ section that seemed to be hiding down the back. The glass cabinets had yummy looking sandwiches and salads which weren’t featured on the menu, as well as irresistible looking sweets that are freshly baked in house daily.
So on the tab went one of the Date, walnut and ginger muffins and a Chocolate, macadamia and apricot cookie (the size of my face!).
After having quite a small sized breakfast, I most certainly had room for it, and unlike my boyfriend who saved his muffin for later on that day, I simply could not wait. It was by far the best cookie I have ever eaten in my life – size, flavor and texture-wise!
Top Paddock is a new favorite for me with the staff, design and food all being really great. I cannot wait for them to perfect their coffees as they get settled in.
Do yourself a favor and check it out for either breakfast or lunch. And get yourself a cookie on the way out!!!
Top Paddock – 658 Church St, Richmond, VIC, 3121