Image The breakfast salad at Touchwood – delish

It is often in Melbourne that a new brunch spot will emerge, hype will spread and suddenly you’ll find yourself perched like a massive hipster on a milk crate, waiting half an hour to be seated because you couldn’t possibly go anywhere else, and neither could the rest of your suburb.

Touchwood in Richmond is one of those places – it also has the advantage of being in an area that is in dire need of a food culture makeover. As such, Touchwood is currently enjoying a popularity on Bridge Rd that is bordering on the hysterical.

Being five metres from my abode, Touchwood has become somewhat of an institution for me, and as a result, I have sampled many of the breakfast dishes served there. The three standouts for me are as follows.

The tequila and citrus cured salmon, poached eggs, smashed peas,
dill, lemon creme fraiche, sauteed endive and sourdough toast is a really fresh way to start your lazy Sunday. The combination is great and I have very little to say that is bad about this dish – the house-cured salmon is always fresh, light and delicious without being like the overly fishy, salty standard smoked salmon that you might finding in its place at other breakfast joints. You can’t go wrong with cured salmon and herbed creme fraiche as a combination, either – and the smashed peas are an ingenious addition. I always hold the bread, though – I feel it’s an unnecessary addition to the smashed peas.

The morning grain salad of quinoa, freekeh, wild rice, rocket,
toasted almonds, chai-soaked raisins, cumin yoghurt,poached egg and grilled bacon is a really great dish that I would like to see an equivalent of at many more cafes – the salad reminded me of the freekeh salad served at Cumulus, but the raisins in the Touchwood incarnation make it a bit sweeter. I am normally wary of the addition of dried fruit to food in any capacity, but the sweetness and tartness of the raisins offset the salty, smoky grilled bacon and the creamy egg yolk really well here.

But the piece de resistance for me at Touchwood is definitely the braised mixed spiced beans, lentils, cotechino sausage, basil,poached eggs and marinated feta and flat bread. This is a Spanish-flavoured dish with really authentic-tasting sausage so if you have been to Spain and loved the food, you’ll most certainly love this.

Some might complain that on busy days, the service at Touchwood can be a bit on the slow side – but the staff are friendly, the poached eggs and coffee consistently good, and the environment a pleasure to inhabit. I don’t know about you, but those are really my weekend breakfast priorities, even if I have to wait a little longer than the average for my food/coffee fix.

Touchwood on Urbanspoon


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