Top Paddock

I wouldn’t usually turn up at a cafe on the first weekend it has opened.  They’re likely to be swamped, will run out of things and you’ll probably get lousy service from brand new waiting staff.  But I made an exception for Top Paddock given it is just down the road from my house.  Plus given Top Paddock is the latest venue from Nathan Toleman, Ben Clarke and Diamond Rozakeas, the team behind Three Bags Full (since sold) and Two Birds One Stone I knew the staff would be expecting a scrum and would be prepared.

Directly opposite Chris Lucas’ new restaurant Baby, Top Paddock is the latest addition to Church street’s reinvention as an eating out precinct.  It’s a sophisticated looking place with marble table tops, a huge central bar and sculptural lighting. I loved the flower arrangements and muted black, white and grey colour palette used in the fit out.

Eggs Benedict at Top Paddock

The menu offers something a bit different from your usual drill.  Sure you can order eggs anyway you like but when you get to the sides instead of bacon there’s ham hock and instead of smoked salmon you’ll spot gin and lime cured ocean trout.  The dishes pack an incredible flavour wallop while fulfilling all the right comforting and sustaining breakfast options.

Inside Top Paddock

Meat-and-Three-Veg couldn’t go past his standard Eggs Benedict ($16) with a side of mushrooms ($3) but the big, juicy field mushrooms and slow cooked chunks of ham hock really set it apart.  Unfortunately the poached eggs erred on the side of overcooked and so the yolks were soft rather than runny.

The beautifully presented kingfish with fried chilli egg (egg removed) at Top Paddock 

One of the most stunning looking dishes at Top Paddock had to be the Kingfish with chilli fried egg ($18). a fillet of pearly Kingfish was topped with a just fried egg and served with sweet heirloom tomatoes, avocado and micro greens arranged on the plate like a Michael Bras inspired still life.

Watermelon juice and latte at Top Paddock

Importantly the coffee ($3.80) which is house blended is excellent. It’s from Five Senses and my cafe latte was great with a full bodied depth and lingering caramel taste.  There’s also some good fresh juice combinations (I liked the watermelon, pineapple $6) and old school style milkshakes ($6).  As it was the opening weekend we had to wait about 20 minutes for a table but hopefully the crowds will die down and the chef in charge of poaching eggs will get his timing perfect.  When that happens you can safely say that Toleman, Clarke and Rozakeas, the consummate cafe operators, have done it again.



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Details: Top Paddock, 658 Church Street, Richmond 3121 (Ph 03 9429 4332) Open Mon-Fri 7am-6pm and Sat-Sun 8am-6pm.
Damage: Reasonable. Our bill came to $56 for two.

Top Paddock on Urbanspoon


  1. I’ll only head there once you confirm the poached eggs are perfect 😉

    Looks like a great new cafe though!

  2. Great timing! – going there for lunch on thursday. Shame about the poached eggs, hopefully it was a one off 🙂

  3. Isn’t this just yet another Melbourne cafe with yet another saccharine dose of hype? Apart from a different name, they are all cut from the same boring cloth……

  4. Certainly sounds worth a try. Might head in on Saturday for breakfast. Will be sure to avoid the poached eggs though!

  5. Sophie – Hopefully we just had a bad batch. Everything else was good.

    Jules – Interested to hear what you think.

    Momo and Coco – It did get a lot of hype and perhaps it is a bit of a tried and true formula but trust me when you have lived somewhere with hardly any good cafes (London!) you appreciate tehm.

    Paul – The other dish that looked really good had anchovies and parma ham. Interested to hear your take.

  6. Looks really inviting! I love what you have ordered in here specially the eggs benedict craving for some now. Got my eye on your next posts.

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  8. Jeane – Thanks very much. Yes I am a bit of an eggs benedict addict as well.

  9. The kingfish dish is just gorgeous! 🙂 Looking forward to popping by to check it out, but wary of weekend queues…how fortunate that it’s a local for you!

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