Hello Melbourne! Field Trip: Top Paddock

Information: Top Paddock| Address: 658 Church St, Richmond, Melbourne, Australia| Phone:03 9429 4332| Email: info@thetoppaddock.com| Hours: Mon-Fri: 7am – 4pm Weekends: 8am -4pm (Kitchen closes at 3 pm everyday) |Reservations can be made Monday-Friday

During this trip, I learned that one of my friends can only eat savory foods for every single meal.  Luckily for me, I have no such qualms or limitations, otherwise I would have truly missed out on something spectacular: Top Paddock’s ricotta hotcake.

When walking into Top Paddock, you are greeted with a large, bright airy space, filled to the skylights with design inspiration.  We chose to sit at one of the large communal tables, so we could settle in comfortably for a leisurely brunch and conversation.

Luckily for us, the menu at Top Paddock has a colorful collection of both imaginnative sweet and savory entrees, made from ethically sourced farm-to-table ingredients. There are classic brunch options  such as Eggs Benedict, homemade sourdough toast and jam, and more inventive options, such as: Seasonal & Farmwall mushrooms, smoked pomme puree, kipfler potato crisps, truffle oil and poached egg, and white anchovies, Brussels sprouts, fried eggs, garlic and bone marrow butter on toast.

One of my favorite Melbourne restaurant customs is that they always ask you for your drink order first, and then leave you to read (and discuss!) the menu in leisure.

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Field Trip: Hello Melbourne! Brunch at Auction Rooms, North Melbourne

Information: Auction Rooms Address: 103-107 Errol St, North Melbourne VIC 3051, Australia|  (03) 9326 7749| Monday-Friday, 7:00-5:00, Saturdays and Sundays 7:30-5:00

One of my favorite past times is brunch.  I love it, because I don’t have to wake up early and afterwards, I still have plenty of appetite for afternoon tea.  Luckily for me, I was absolutely spoiled for brunch choices in Melbourne, because there are so many different possibilities.  In the interest of time, Peter helped me narrow down my list with some of his favorite places.  One of his first recommendations was Auction Rooms, located in North Melbourne.

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I just realized that I haven’t left the country, or even the city, in over a year. To make up for that in a small way, I went on a day trip to Tainan with my aunt and brother. We took the high speed rail from Taipei around 10, and arrived in Tainan in two hours and 20 minutes.  Then we took the free shuttle from the high speed rail station into the city.  Despite the short amount of time that we were there, it turned out to be the most relaxing day, ever.  Probably because all we did was meander down the cozy alleyways and eat delicious food.

Our first stop right off the shuttle was for food.  Right near the shuttle stop was a place for ba-wan (meatballs wrapped in a glutinous rice wrapper).  These are the steamed version. Make sure to douse liberally with the sweet chili sauce!

Right next door is the Lily’s, which is one of the most well-known places to get fruit over shaved ice.

A lot of restaurants in Tainan offer outdoor seating- usually just tables set up near the sidewalks.  My advice is to have someone in your party grab a table first.  The menus are attached to clipboards and available at the front counter.  Decide what you want, check the boxes next to the item, write down your table number and pay first at the counter.


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