Tag Archives : Richmond


Top Paddock, Richmond {Melbourne Review}

Soft shell mudcrab with salad and lime mayonnaise in brioche bun at Top Paddock

We had a fairly bad experience with Top Paddock previously when we got there one weekend. It was quite busy, we were ignored by the waitstaff for quite a while (literally ignored, not ‘please wait’ just plain straight walking past back and forth without paying us any attention) and once we were seated, the venue was incredibly noisy due to it having lots and LOTS of bare walls with no noise absorber whatsoever. So we basically decided to walk out at the time as Josh is fairly sensitive to bad acoustics (it gives him a terrible headache.) But I was quite determined to eat there because I have heard so many good things about this place and bad acoustics doesn’t bother me as much. So I needed a new tactic – I needed a brunch date who wasn’t Josh and I needed to be there on a week day.

Top Paddock Cafe, Richmond, Melbourne

The opportunity presented itself when Mum was in town and we were on our way to Australian Open to see Roger Federer playing the second round against Simone Bolleli. Sure, Top Paddock isn’t exactly walking distance to Rod Laver Arena but it mattered not because I wanted to eat at Top Paddock, damn it. Luckily this time, we found parking easily (unlike last time when we had to pay exorbitant parking for a meal we didn’t eat – yeah still grumpy about that) and we were greeted nicely by the waitstaff and were seated in a nice sunny spot. A much better start this time. The venue itself is actually quite spacious and gorgeously fitted out – but yes the acoustics when busy really were absolutely atrocious (my friend pointed out, when I told her about this that I am old, I am. I admit it.)

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(Flat white – $3.80)

We were in a bit of a rush for the tennis but service was quite prompt and we didn’t have to wait long for coffee and food. We peruse the menu (and obviously I wanted to order everything but it was breakfast and we could only eat so much.) Mum decided to order the soft shell crab (first picture – Queensland soft shell mud crab & salad with lime mayonnaise on a brioche bun – $21) because I may have suggested that it’s one of their more popular dishes. Okay, I wanted to try it. It was really quite good. It was the meatiest, juiciest, best soft shell crab I ever had and the salad, mayo and the bun all complimented each really nicely.The only complaint about it is that the soft shell crab itself was overly salted.

Snapper with chilli-fried egg, avocado, tomato, lime and corn tortilla at Top Paddock Cafe

(Local snapper with chilli-fried egg, avocado, tomato, lime and corn tortilla -$19.50)

I decided on the snapper and while it was the prettier dish of the two and was quite good, I found this dish to be a bit scattered. There was nothing to tie all the ingredients together but the ingredients were definitely of good quality and I did enjoy the dish although I wouldn’t recommend it. The same complaint as the soft shell crab applied, the snapper pieces were over-salted. Whoever on the seafood duty that day must have been fairly heavy handed. The coffee was fantastic though.

So despite a fault start, and a few things that weren’t quite right, we enjoyed having a nice coffee and brunch in a lovely space on that sunny day. The food focused itself on really good ingredients and the prices reflect that. I wouldn’t hesitate to go back and sample a few more dishes there in the future.

Top Paddock Cafe [ Web Site ]
Address: 658 Church St., Richmond VIC 3121
Phone: 03 9429 4332
Hours: Mon – Fri 7am – 4pm, weekends & public holidays 8am – 4pm
Public Transport: Trams 78 & 79 (right out front), East Richmond Train Station (700m)

Top Paddock on Urbanspoon


Momotaro Rahmen, Bridge Rd., Richmond { Melbourne Food Review } 6

Vegetable vegetarian ramen at Momotaro Rahmen

Momotaro Rahmen is a small Japanese noodle bar on Bridge Road that is well known by the Richmond locals for serving up cheap, tasty and massive bowls of ramen. The cafe is not terribly big and I’m told it suffers from overcrowding at the peak dining periods but luckily, as a MOLWL (mummy of leisure who lunches) I have always managed to get there very late in the afternoon of a week day and never had trouble trying to fit a pram in there. The staff had also been very lovely at accomodating Mini Me.

Momotato Rahmen - A Japanese Noodle Bar on Bridge Road, Richmond

I have already made a few visits to Momotaro Rahmen who, judging by their logo, seemed to be named after the famous Japanese folklore about a baby boy who was found floating down a river in a giant peach (and you thought Roald Dahl was being original when he wrote James and the Giant Peach) and kept going back for its serves of satisfying bowls of tonkotsu broth and their homemade noodles.

tonkotsu ramen at momotaro rahmen on bridge rd in Richmond

(Ramen with tonkotsu broth – a milky white broth made from pork bones – $13?)

Momotaro Rahmen’s menu consists of largely of ramen and a few Japanese favourites such as Japanese curries, teriyaki and salads. Momotaro offers their ramen in five different broths – shoyu (Japanese soy sauce), miso, shio (salt), tonkotsu (pork bones) and vegetarian with various selection of toppings such as vegetables, chashu (roast pork), boiled egg and seafood. But what is really special about Momotaro Rahmen is that they have a dedicated vegetarian menu and serve their ramen in vegetable broth when requested. Now we know how rare this is for Japanese cuisine where almost everything contains dashi, a stock made from dried fish and seaweed. This makes my vego friends very happy indeed.

Vegetarian ramen at Momotaro Rahmen

(Vegetable ramen – $12?)

On this occasion, I arrived at Momotaro with Mini Me in tow to meet with my friend, Nat who I have previously introduced to Momotaro and has become a regular.

Nat orders her usual of vegetable ramen – I had a taste of the broth. It was lovely enough as far as a vegetarian broth goes. But let’s face it – if the folks at the Momofuku lab can’t make a great vegetarian broth, I can’t really expect it to be as good as my order of tonkotsu broth.

(The bowl is bigger than the baby! Okay, not really.)

Momotaro Rahmen’s rendition of this famous Japanese porky broth is rather light compared to the usual thick, gelatinious version served up everywhere in Japan. Which, to be perfectly honest, is just as well since the bowl is so eye poppingly big (and I am from the ‘you must finish the broth’ school). It comes with a large slice of roast pork which I found to have improved since my last visit (I didn’t like it very much the first few visits), half a boiled egg and lots of vegetables. The whole dish felt very healthy and rather light. Yes you will be rather full but it’s not that terrible sick feeling that you get after a very large bowl of traditional tonkotsu ramen. That’s not to say I don’t love the traditional tonkotsu ramen. I really do but I appreciate Momotaro Rahmen’s version despite its lack of traditional tonkotsu characteristics.

Momotaro vegetarian gyoza

(Vegetarian gyoza – with a mixture of chick pea, cabbage, spinach, etc. – $7?)

The vegetarian gyoza on the other hand was just disappointing. The filling combo just simply didn’t work and neither of us enjoyed it. I think it’s safe to say no chick pea belongs in a gyoza.

Having visited Momotaro a few times, I have tried their miso and shoyu broths as well as curry and teriyaki. I have to say I have exceeding preference for their tonkotsu ramen and will happily go back for my ramen fill there. It is a nice little place for a hearty, healty large bowl of soups, if nothing else.

And let’s face it, if it’s noodle and it’s in a decent broth? I’m there.

Momotaro Rahmen
Address: 392 Bridge Rd Richmond VIC 3121 [ Google Map ]
Phone: (03) 9421 1661

Momotaro Rahmen on Urbanspoon


Melbourne Food Review: Pho Dzung, Victoria St., Richmond 9

Picking which pho restaurant to go to on Victoria Street in Richmond might be a daunting task for those who don’t frequent the street, but I am here to recommend to you Pho Dzung as a great starting point Victoria St. has to offer.

Pho Dzung, like any good pho joint, concentrates on their two dishes of beef pho and chicken pho. Unlike its CBD sister, it only offers very few rice dishes and no vermicelli salads. The simple, rich goodness of the pho makes up for the lack of choices.

The decor is rather like any other pho restaurants on the strips, rows of minimal laminex tables with just the bare essentials. But let’s face it, you don’t hit a pho joint for a date or a hip-and-happening ambience, you’re there for the soup.

That particular afternoon, Josh and I took our friends from London, Doug and Diane, to experience the Victoria St. Vietnamese eating culture.

(Vietnamese spring rolls – $9)

We started off with prawn spring rolls. The crunchy rolls were well balanced between the skin and filling. The sides of various mints and lettuce were fresh and generous. Not all pho joints do this and it is very disappointing when the quality, and quantity of side vegetables are left to be desired. (more…)

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