There are places in Melbourne that deserve every bit of success they achieve, that deserve the vast crowds of people queueing each and every weekend for a seat and one such place would be Top Paddock in Richmond. I cannot remember a time when I might have left Top Paddock disappointed. Its impossible. Even during a trip on my birthday last year, when the waiter was short and sharp with the table, my experience couldn't be ruined. Thankfully the food is still the same and that waiter is long gone.
Kevin and I decided to meet up with our friend Sarah recently at Top Paddock, prior to our trip to The Thousand Steps which I wrote about here. One of the best parts of eating around Melbourne is introducing oneself to the various tribes that exist within each suburb. Walk out onto the main street in Port Melbourne and you will find Lycra clad middle aged men and women drinking coffee at Noisette or fitness fanatics wearing Lulu Lemon or The Upside at Seven:am. Hit Top Paddock at the weekend and there is not a piece of workout gear in site. Its a fashion show. Its actually a runway of sorts where I dissect outfits and decide where my next pay check may go.
When you do eventually get a table and that may be some time after you initially arrive, you cannot help but soak up the atmosphere. Its intoxicating. The hustle, the bustle and the chaos behind those coffee machines is everything I love about a great cafe and its not all style and no substance here. They've got the goods to back it all up. Whilst the others deliberated over the savoury options, I instantly knew what I was going to order. The hotcake. Take a look below at that masterpiece and pick that jaw of yours up from the floor.
The last time I ordered the hotcake the waiter said it was pretty rare that anyone could finish it by themselves. I begged to differ and I explained that he hadn't met me before jokingly. I wasn't joking. The dish is huge, but every time you take that 'last bite' your tummy says keep going, its that good. The hotcake I find is a cross between a pancake and a muffin in terms of consistency and has blueberries and ricotta running throughout. Its then covered with mixed seeds, berries, double cream and organic maple syrup. It truly is the most decadent breakfast I've had in Melbourne (along with the twice cooked marmalade french toast which can be found in their sister cafe Two Birds One Stone in South Yarra).
Continuing their streak of culinary success, the team behind Top Paddock and Two Birds One Stone are opening their latest spot in South Melbourne along Albert Road in an old Victorian building, which now sits comfortably within one of the several high rise buildings along that road. The Kettle Black will be swamped with people once it opens and it will be great to have a place of this calibre even closer to home. My verdict on Top Paddock and the hotcake. Get there now.
Mon - Fri: 7am-4pm
Sat - Sun: 8am-4pm
03 9429 4332
658 Church St, Richmond