Another cafe where you need to do extensive planning and preparation before even contemplating breakfast on a Sunday morning is Top Paddock. Catherine and I were meeting my aunty and uncle so we got here twenty minutes early to put our names down.
Giving ourselves plenty of time meant we were happy to wait the extra ten minutes for a table inside while we chatted out the front with about 25 other people eagerly awaiting the sound of their name to be called. At 9.40am Catherine was the first person out front waiting while I parked. Not long after there was a constant throng of people who could fill another medium sized cafe. This had built to a crowd at 11.30am that looked like it was waiting to get in to Rod Laver arena.
Is it all worth it? I’d say about three-quarters of the time it actually is. Let’s get Catherine’s baked beans out of the way – in my experience it is a rarity, but not only were they watery and lacking in flavour, they were cold. They were quickly replaced by a toasted muesli that did the job well. Everything else was fantastic, and usually is.
I hadn’t tried the chilli scrambled eggs before and good first impressions lingered through to the last bite. Tasty sourdough topped with bright rich scram, delicious mushrooms, and plenty of chilli (but not too hot). The feta was not as generous as some similar dishes at cafes close by, but for my taste it was just enough to have a taste with each bite. I thought adding a side of Istra bacon was a good idea.
It might be a big call but Top Paddock has my favourite breakfast dishes in Richmond. Not one in itself, more as an overall menu. The coffee is the equal of the food. Excellent offerings on the single origin list keep it dynamic and the barista did a terrific job with both the Sumatran and Rwandan today. If you want a quintessential Melbourne coffee experience in Richmond without the frills (cold drip, syphon etc), this is it.