Mon – Fri: 7am – 4pm
Sat – Sun: 7:30am – 4.30pm
Coffee: 5 senses, Touchwood House blend, single origin, cold drip, pour over, iced
Other: Tea by Storm in a Teacup, Mork hot chocolate
To touch wood [təCHˌwo͝od]: refers to the apotropaic tradition in western folklore of literally touching/knocking on wood in order to avoid “tempting fate” after making a favourable observation, a boast, or declaration concerning one’s own death.
“To touchwood is an old western folklore for the superstitious type. The act is more than a good luck charm, but stems personal affirmation that all will be good. The creation of a successful business requires a lot of hard work and luck. Having luck, is an essential element to creating a unique and competitive brunching spot to feed Melbourne’s ever growing demand. The latest hotspot in Melbourne Touchwood is a collaboration between the owners of Tall Timber and Pillar of Salt, who barely needed to knock on wood to ensure their new venture on Bridge road is a success with their successful backgrounds.
The décor and floor space at Touchwood is an example of what many café owners are attempting to achieve. It has a careful balance of aesthetically pleasing colours and soft wood textures, with a large floor space to allow each visit to be a new experience. There is the option of bench-top tables overlooking Bridge road, catching some rays on the deck outside or just sitting in one of many indoor tables, where you can become engrossed in conversation or get inspired by this café creation.
The coffee is sourced by 5 Senses, offering Touchwoods tailored house blend or a single origin. My single origin long black [$4.30] had a notable apricot flavour. Instead of the typical in-your-face full body flavour, it was soft and exceptionally smooth as it pleasantly washed over my palate. It was perfect to appreciate on this lazy Sunday afternoon brunch.
The Tequila and citrus cured salmon, poached eggs, smashed peas, dill, lemon crème fraiche, sautéed endive, sourdough toast [$17.50] looked exceptional and reminded me of a quality offering at Top Paddock. The clean flavours of the citrus-infused salmon was delightful and the centerpiece if the dish. The other ingredients added their own individual flare. I enjoyed the DIY approached as I played with the various flavour combinations on my sourdough. The poached eggs were perfectly prepared and the smashed peas were a refreshing alternative to the typical smashed avocado. My only criticism was the lack of sourdough that unevenly matched the other components.
A brunch spot on a main road is risky, especially on Bridge Road, Richmond. Traffic is always challenging to navigate – not to mention finding a park. It’s also ‘non Melbourne-like’, as it’s easy to locate without the help of smart phone navigation. However, Touchwood, is a café bound to shake up the brunch scene in Richmond.”
“FOMO – also known as the ‘Fear Of Missing Out’ is a trend that most bloggers fall prey to. Afterall, how can we have street cred if we haven’t been to that latest cafe open by so-and-so from ‘that place’? Well, here at Brunch Addict HQ, if we fell prey to our FOMO then we’d be brunching every day of the week and would have to give up our day jobs to keep up with Melbourne’s food scene. We do, however, do our best to cover off as many venues as possible to give you, our readership, insight into the real brunch experience to be had at the latest venue that is the subject of much hype.
It was with this in mind that we decided to check out Touchwood by former owners of Coin Laundry and current owners of the much hyper Tall Timbre (if you haven’t been – it’s great! Make sure you try the salted caramel donuts… they give Movida Bakery a run for their money!). As soon as I walked in, I could appreciate the stripped back, natural and honest environment that made up Touchwood‘s interior. It was apparent very quickly though, that there was more to the interior design than what was first let on. Distressed, broken-in walls create a beautiful frame for diners between the different dining rooms, with light coloured wood splattered across the venue creating a sense of space within this huge 120-seater venue. The courtyard in the back is small but homely, fitted out with a darker shade of wood and plenty of seats for two.
A menu was waiting for me at the table as Mr LB informs me that he had already ordered me a double espresso in the single origin [$4.30]. Scanning to see my options my eyes fell upon the Peanut butter and jelly whole meal waffles, poached raspberries, whipped peanut butter ricotta, peanut brittle [$16]. My decision had been made.
I will make a declaration for the entire world to hear – I’m addicted to peanut butter. If it were winter, I would have ordered the Hot Chocolate by Mork [$4.50] add peanut butter [+.50] on offer. Touchwood was winning my heart. Within fifteen minutes my coffee arrived and we ordered our meals. It was a gentle blend with a beautiful apricot flavour that dances on your palate.
As Mr LB and I chatted about the latest goings on in our lives, time ticked by and there was no food in sight. At about thirty minutes (since arrival), I needed more sustenance and ordered a very healthy Cucumber, kale, celery, apple, lime, parsley juice [$8]. What came out was a refreshingly light juice with a bit too much Lebanese cucumber – but don’t get me wrong, it was nice!
It was an hour on the dot and I was nearly rolling around on the floor in hunger (it was my first meal for the day, and it was nearly 2:30pm!) when our meals came out. I was both delighted and disappointed at the same time. The whipped peanut butter was incredibly tempting, but the waffles were in the same shape as my waffle maker at home, and it was only one waffle. Would it be enough?!
I sampled each element individually, starting with the whipped peanut butter. It was delicious! The ricotta-peanut butter combination was incredibly delightful and smooth, resulting in a heavenly combination. Bits of peanut butter brittle disrupted its smooth, light and fluffy texture creating an interesting topping. The raspberries were lovely and fresh, infused with the sweet flavours of jam. The waffles themselves had no obvious peanut butter flavour, with a more distinct taste of wholemeal. The overall combination was a delightful sweet versus savoury concoction with no distinctly overpowering flavour.
I was feeling like I had eaten the right amount at this point when Mr LB had tempted me into the sweet clutches of dessert. We decided on the Toasted coconut and banana bread [~$5], which was served promptly upon order. It was really beautiful. Inside the moist banana bread were bits of charred coconut that released a delicious flavour within the dessert. The cream cheese icing was a beautiful match with its coconut, palm sugar and burnt-butter topping.
Touchwood is a beautifully designed venue with a tasty menu to tempt cafe-goers into submission. It was opening week when we went, so we suggest that if you can avoid your FOMO getting the better of you, you should wait a few weeks before trying them out so that they can sort out their kitchen to deliver a faster brunching experience.”
Final Thought “A peanut butter lovers dream waffles”