Top Paddock has weekend brunching down pat. Despite a constant stream of diners waiting to get in, it's casual and relaxed because they know what they're doing. Four of us plus baby SJA arrived at Top Paddock on Sunday at noon. The weather was stunning and after TBS put our names on the list we all lounged on the grass in the sun opposite the café to wait for our table. We didn't have to wait for long before we were called and were seated at a communal table with ample room for SJA's pram.
As CA and SA were visiting from Auckland, TBS and I were determined to take them to a 'blow you away' kind of brunch. Having dined at Top Paddock a few times before we knew that the food and coffee was a cut above. We were hopeful that our visitors would be impressed by Top Paddock as we have been in the past.
Piccolos were ordered all round. One of the coffees spilt over slightly as our waitress brought them over. I liked how she apologised and took it away to clean up before returning it to us. Very well handled.
The menu is extensive and every dish is enticing. I love how Top Paddock names its suppliers of their produce on the menu so you get an idea where the food on your plate comes from. Us girls both fancied the gin and lime cured trout (sourced from George at Ocean Made Seafood). I've had this previously where it was served as a cold cured filet and I found it cut a bit thick for my liking. This time round the waiter told me it was pan fried so I was eager to give the dish another go. What impresses me about Top Paddock is their plating. Every dish is a visual feast- colour and texture is artfully arranged and so appealing to the eye.
CA enjoyed the soft shell Qld. mud crab roll (sourced from Angus at Watermark Seafood) which was accompanied by fennel, dill & lime mayonnaise in a brioche bun. CA commented on how the soft brioche bun enhanced his experience making the dish easy to eat rather than having to carve into what he expected to be a rock hard bun. I've never tried the mud crab roll at Top Paddock, I'm put off a little by the price, but if its anywhere near as good as Hammer & Tong's then I might have to give it a whirl.
TBS ordered his usual Top Paddock brekkie- white anchovies & jamon Serrano with fried eggs, pardon peppers & manchego on toast. I'm told the combination of slightly piquant manchego, sweet padron peppers (sourced from Richard at Midyim Padron Peppers) and vinegary white anchovies makes this one of the most unique breakfasts TBS has ever enjoyed. He can never go past it.
Despite it being a full house, service was efficient. and our meals came surprisingly quickly. We left happy, sated and thoroughly impressed. Top Paddock is a class act.
Gin & lime cured trout filet with pickled baby beetroots, potato galette, poached eggs, leaves, goats curd & toast $19
Fresh soft shell Qld. mud crab roll with fennel, dill & lime mayonnaise in a brioche bun $21
White anchovies & jamon Serrano with fried eggs, pardon peppers & manchego on toast $18.50
658 Church Street
Telephone (03) 9429 4332
Monday to Friday 7:00am to 4:00pm
Saturday and Sunday 8:00am to 4:00pm
Bookings available for groups of 4 or more Monday to Friday
No bookings for weekend or public holiday dining
Images: T B Southam