658 Church Street
(03) 9429 4332
Been to the gym Saturday morning and looking for somewhere for brunch? The guys from Three Bags Full and Two Birds One Stone have you covered. Top Paddock, a large and bustling brunch joint at the furniture end of Church St, is the place to go when sporting your 2XUs.
Baristas amongst a backdrop of timber and white work at a frantic pace, serving up some good incarnations of the Five Senses house blend. There’s also an in-house roaster creating signature blends to match the food.
The food takes inspiration from a range of cuisines. The Mexican-inspired pan-fried local snapper with a chilli-fried egg, avocado, salsa & lime and corn tortilla ($17.50) is a favourite amongst both my sisters and I’m told it’s consistently good.
Then there’s the purple potato & buffalo ash brie omelette with padron pappers on sourdough ($16.00). It comes with the option of adding chorizo for an extra $3.00, which is a bit steep considering there’s only 3 slices on ours when it arrives.
The pulled pork on rye with goats curd and prunes ($16.00) is better left unordered. Sitting atop a piece of soggy bread is a pile of under-seasoned, tasteless meat with a couple of prunes and a small dollop of curd. It’s almost like a main that’s in need of some side dishes to make it a complete meal.
The gin and lime cured ocean trout fillet with pickled baby beetroots, potato galette, poached eggs, leaves & goats curd ($18.50) is a similar story. The grilled trout again lacks proper accompaniments – the 3 mini beets, 3 tiny cubes of potato and a few purslane sprigs it comes with are gone in a few mouthfuls. The poached eggs also seem out of place on this dish, and the whole thing doesn’t quite gel.
If you need a little sweetness in the morning, there’s plenty of options for you too. The drunken ginger bread with seasonal berries & chocolate mascarpone ($14.00) looks a treat, though like the trout it doesn’t quite cohere as a complete dish.
The bircher muesli, a staple on all good brunch menus, is nice enough ($12.50). On this occasion, it arrives with a whole poached pear decorated with micro herbs. I’m beginning to think these guys don’t know how to make a dish look good without micro herbs.
While I’m not adverse to queuing for my breakfast if the food is good, would I queue for breakfast at Top Paddock? Probably not.