To me, a good cafe has got to tick off these boxes:
- Good food (obviously)
- Good coffee (duh)
- Good service
- Good ambience
I think it’s the last 2 criteria that gets customers going back to a place. After all, good service puts a nice human touch to the dining experience, and a good ambience makes it possible for one to really enjoy their company and thus, the food.
But of course, the main thing has got to be the food and coffee. And what gives a cafe the x-factor is when they not only tick all of the above boxes, but when they give something a little more with their food…
…And I think Top Paddock cafe has got it.
Top Paddock is a fairly new cafe but it has already made quite a wave in the food blogging scene. So I decided to check it out one fine Saturday morning with my high school girlfriends for brunch.
As we approached the cafe, there was definitely a buzz going around – this is one very busy cafe.
Yet, despite the crowd, we didn’t have to wait long for a table as it was a fairly big cafe. The cafe also had a spacious layout and with high ceilings, a split level and full-length windows. (Unfortunately, I didn’t take pictures of the place so you just have to imagine it!)
Good ambience? Yup, tick.
And when we opened up our menus, we took so long to decide on our orders! Why? Because everything on the menu looked so good! And there were a few curious ingredients mentioned on the menu so we sought the waitress’ help. And believe me, we took up quite abit of her time but she still patiently took our orders.
Good service? Yup, tick.
One of my girlfriends ordered a coffee but I didn’t (surprise surprise) because I already had my morning cuppa. But how I regretted it!
When her magic came, I stole a sip and it was a beautiful creamy cup. I can’t wait to go back and enjoy a cup to myself next time! (Again, I wasn’t in a clicky mood that day and I didn’t have a blog back then so I didn’t take a picture 😦 )
Good coffee? For sure, tick.
And then our food arrived….
Here’s dish #1:
Anchovies, smoked meat, cheese & eggs? Sounds like a curious combination doesn’t it! But everything went well together. The fishiness of the anchovies was toned down by the jamon and it was lovely having the egg, cheese and toast together. What a creative and yummy dish!
This dish really wowed us. Every element on this dish was delicious – from the beautifully cooked trout, the fluffy potato galettes to those sweet little baby beetroots. Usually, for most brunch dishes, poached eggs are the star of the plate but here, they could almost be forgotten (almost, I say – you just can’t do brunch without eggs!).
This seems to be a Mexican-inspired dish and it worked off well with the Modern Australian twist. Again, the fish was cooked beautifully and the avocado and tomatoes helped to give a little zest to the fried elements on the plate. Once again, it seemed that the egg was more of a sidekick to the other ingredients on this dish!
So…. Good food? Double tick for sure!! The ingredients were creative yet wonderfully paired together, making vibrant combinations on the plate. The flavours of each dish were also fresh and even surprisingly pleasant on the tastebuds. This is definitely not your usual eggs-bacon-smashed avocado-toast place!
So being seated with the airy ambience around us, being served without a hitch and with the exciting dishes before us, we really enjoyed our brunch at Top Paddock!
With that, I can say that Top Paddock has everything that a great Melbourne cafe has: high-quality coffee, an interesting menu, good service and a trendy deco to boot. So if you’re looking for a top player in the Melbourne brunch scene, look no further than Top Paddock cafe!