Top Paddock

658 Church St, Richmond 3121
Date visited: 18th April 2014

I used to bum at home during the long Easter weekend due to the belief that most places were closed.  This year, MerlinFan and I wanted to make the most of things and after researching, we were pleasantly surprised to discover how many places actually remained open on Good Friday.

I drove with MerlinFan as navigator, was met by roadworks and road blocks through the rain, but at long last, finally arrived at Richmond.  Parking was not an issue around the small surrounding lanes.

I was momentarily horrified at the huge mass outside Top Paddock.  It was packed to the rafters inside but undeterred, we went to put our names down.  We were on the second page of the waiting list (>_<) and heard the waitress tell the people before us that there was going to be a 20-30 minute wait.  Well, we didn't come so far in the rain to turn back, so of course we waited.  

It certainly took less than half an hour before our names were called, and we were happy to be given a table inside.  The interior was cosy and homey with warm yellow lighting and a roaring fire.  No photos of the interior cos all you could see were heads and bodies anyway =P  I should mention as well, it was nice of the waitstaff to ask the people outside to come in and wait when the rain really started pelting down.

We were given menus and our orders were taken in no time.

MerlinFan had a Latte which she enjoyed.  I loved the wooden texture of the table as a background for coffee art shots.

I was happy with my Cappucino too.  Perfect on a rainy day.

MerlinFan and I got a sweet and a savoury dish to share.  MerlinFan chose the Chilli scrambled eggs with local seasonal mushrooms and feta on toast.

Chilli scrambled eggs $17.50
Do not underestimate those tiny little chillis - they packed a spicy kick.  The chill detracted a bit from that creamy, yolky taste that we love, but spicy food fans would be likely to enjoy it.  Otherwise, the curds of scrambled eggs were golden and perfectly done.  They worked a treat with the earthy mushrooms, rich salty feta and toast.

Now, the reason for coming - the infamous Blueberry and ricotta hotcake with berries, organic maple, seeds and double cream.  I've gazed in awe and drooled over the dozens of hotcake photos on Instagram and today I was not disappointed.  

Blueberry & ricotta hotcake $17

This dish was vibrant and visually stunning - I don't think it was possible for anyone to take an ugly photo of it.  The purple flowers, the brilliantly red strawberries and luscious figs... just beautiful.  My first bite of hotcake was light and fluffy, moist with maple and slightly crisp at the corners.  This was one seriously yummy pancake.  It was interspersed with big juicy blueberries and clouds of rich ricotta, then sprinkled with seeds for texture.  Soo good.

There is nothing I hate more than places that are overhyped - Top Paddock has definitely lived up to expectations and it's hype is definitely well earned.  Food and coffee were great, and I was especially impressed at how quickly and efficiently they got customers in and out.  Despite how crazily busy they were, the staff did not appear one bit frazzled, and despite a supposed 20-30 minute wait, we were there only an hour from the moment we put our names down with the waitstaff out front.  Pretty awesome in my books.  I hope they keep up the great work and would definitely love to return.

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