480 Bridge Road
Richmond 3121 Vic
Bridge Road, Richmond was once a bustling hive of activity, lined with some of the best shops Melbourne had to offer. Today its a shell of its past self, the crowds have gone, the number of vacant shops grows faster than new ones appear and sadly, many remaining shop owners find themselves fighting for survival. Despite this, there are some businesses that continue to thrive, proving that if you offer an exceptional product people will come. One such business is Touchwood.
On any given day you’ll find Touchwood full of people, be it for coffee on the run, to enjoy brunch with friends or to just sit and read a book. Even when it’s full of dinners, the atmosphere remains chilled and is oddly relaxing. For me, this relaxed vibe comes from the fit out which embraces the beautiful features of the old building, from the leadlight windows over the entrance, to the moulded ceilings over the front counter and the painted internal brick walls. The white walls are bare however warmth and colour come in the way of timber furnishings and cacti in little pots which litter the cafe.
Their food offering covers everything we’ve come to expect from a Melbourne cafe, it’s diverse, balanced, inventive and of course, high quality. Be it sugar, eggs, avocado, grains, meat or fish that you fancy, they’ve got a dish for you. I make no secret of the fact that sugar is my kryptonite, and let me tell you, Touchwood definitely bring their A game when it comes to sweet dishes. Their most recognisable dish is the wholemeal waffles, so naturally I had to try them even though the idea of wholemeal anything would normally make me scrunch my nose up and turn the other way. The waffle was crisp and dense yet remained soft, making it quite pleasurable to eat. Rather simply, it was topped with a large dollop of vanilla bean mascarpone, fresh berries and a small amount of maple syrup, however I didn’t find it to be all that sweet. If anything, I could have gone for a bit more sugar. Despite the portion being on the smaller side, it was surprisingly filling and to be honest you wouldn’t want more than the one waffle.
Another of their sweet offerings is the beautifully presented Dr Martys crumpets topped with smashed banana, fresh honeycomb and toasted hazelnuts. The crumpets as always were soft and fluffy, not the rubbery supermarket type, making them a big hit with my little man. Add everything else and you have a great dish for young and old.
Predictable as ever, the husband turned his nose up at my sweet dishes and went for the Wagyu burger, which I’m told was pretty tasty. This classic burger wasn’t trying to be anything too fancy or pretentious, the soft toasted brioche bun and juicy meat patty spoke for themselves, proving that simple is often better.
So if you’re in Richmond and trying to find somewhere to eat, head down to Touchwood where you’re guaranteed to get a great feed no matter what you fancy.