I was really excited to check out Top Paddock because it’s a highly popular brunch place with great reviews. Their menu looks absolutely amazing and I just want to try pretty much everything. Of course I was also very excited to catch up with the wonderful company of my girlfriends too :)
When we arrived we were greeted by a friendly staff member (and had pleasant service throughout the rest of the stay). We needed to queue up (approx 11AM) and it was extremely busy/packed. We only waited for about 5 minutes because we ended up being seated on a round table (that fits 6) and had to sit opposite 3 other strangers. It was a little strange at first because you don’t get the comfort of privacy and space, however the people opposite us were quite friendly. It was also very loud so it was quite hard to hear their conversations vice versa.
Also, from my experience parking was a pain! Be prepared to pay $7.50 per hour for parking around that Richmond area. It’s awesome how they have an extra cafe menu and a DAILY specials menu as well – it’s not given out to you at the table so you probably need to request it, or else it’s at the front counter (where the muffins are). When I was there, some of their specials included items such as, ‘Local pine mushrooms served on house made flatbread with taleggio cheese & a garlic, chilli + parsley oil 18.50’, ‘Whitebait tacos with corinder, chilli & corn salsa 18.00′, Chilli beef & bean pie with your choice of a side salad & tomato relish 15.00’ Just to name a few! They also serve fresh juice and have a variety of salads available where you can add ocean trout as a side for $7.Top Paddock Menu (Soooo many choices! All day brunch) Gin and lime cured ocean trout with pickled baby beetroots, potato galette, poached eggs, leaves, goats curd & toast // $20
This was the dish I ordered and I waited in high anticipation for it. I’m personally not a fan of goats curd/beetroots but I chose this dish for the ocean trout. I had high expectations and though it was a pretty good dish (the concept) there were a couple of big faults.
Not so good things: There was surprising quite a few bones in my trout (atleast 5) and pretty big ones too. I definitely would not have chocked on them but it did lower my view on the standard of Top Paddock. It did make me feel that they were too busy to ensure quality goes into their food – and I can be sympathetic knowing it’s a high pressure environment, but I’m not sure if as a customer I should be accepting. My ocean trout was slightly overcooked (you can probably tell by looking at the photo actually). Honestly I’m still surprised that their standard dropped (compared to other reviews I’ve read about this ocean trout!) but I didn’t want to make a fuss. I haven’t come across any other reviews that have mentioned bones so I’m hoping and willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.I was impressed by everything else – presentation, customer service, visual appearance of their store and their menu- so I really want them to present great tasting food too! It’s a shame because most people seem to have a great experience at Top Paddock.
Good things: Beautifully poached eggs, great tasting potato and my friends and I loved the presentation. We probably spent about 5-10 minutes taking photos of our food… I only wish there was more of that potato on my plate because I love how it’s layered so delicately.The pickled beetroot had a very unique and interesting flavour, I didn’t dislike it but I wasn’t a huge fan of the flavour combination of everything together. I didn’t really feel like the flavours were balanced out but again, I kind of think that it was just a lack of consistency on the day I went and bad luck to me.
Based on my the appearance of friend’s dishes and the other menu options, I am STILL convinced that I will come back (and I hope that perhaps it was just that once off experience). I’ll need to come back and hopefully it’s better tasting food next time. Pan fried local snapper with a chilli-fried egg, avocado, tomato, lime and a corn tortilla // $19.50
This was Top Paddock’s other famous fish dish with a pan fried snapper! My friend found it quite simple, The avocado and lemon creates that fresh tone to the dish. Unfortunately her snapper was slightly over cooked too!Top Paddock – chorizo, pickled onion, peppers, basil, Adelaide green tomatoes, bacon, poached eggs & relish on toast // $22
This dish looks absolutely smashing! My friend really enjoyed it too. It’s definitely a more hearty option for brunch.Other highly popular/recommended dishes at Top Paddock are:
Blueberry & ricotta hotcakes with berries, organic maple, seeds & double cream // 17.50
Grilled broccolini & sugar snaps with avocado, toasted almonds, poached eggs & heidi raclette on toast // 17.50
Ranger Valley Wagyu steak sandwhich with beetroot relish, tempura beetroot shoots, fresh horseradish & wasabi leaves // 20.00