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HOT: Touchwood, 480 Bridge Rd, Richmond

Touchwood Richmond
From the people behind successful inner city cafes Coin LaundryStation Street Trading Co., Tall TimberPillar of Salt and Barry comes Touchwood in Richmond, a spacious and breezy family-friendly cafe at the quiet end of Bridge Road near Burnley Road.

While Touchwood  is no clone the owners have obviously replicated some aspects of their successful formula. The whitewashed decor, polished concrete, timber touches and greenery from Pop Plant are de rigeur.

Touchwood Richmond

Add a shaded outdoor deck area with booths (and a mini herb garden) and an interesting and varied menu and you have a winning formula.

Touchwood Richmond

Touchwood opens nice and early for breakfast at 7am (weekends 7:30am) catering to joggers and bright bouncy exercisers in lycra. Then the young families and pram brigade start trickling in and by 9am the place is two thirds full, even though the space fits 120 diners. It seems all of Richmond has converged here.

Touchwood Richmond

I take a seat at the high communal table at the front which stretches through a peekaboo cutout in the brickwork. There’s plenty of space to spread out the papers and the food without encroaching on your neighbour’s personal space. If you’re bringing kids there’s plenty of space to manoeuvre prams – in fact, I share my communal table with a sleeping baby.

Touchwood Richmond

I start with braised mixed beans and lentils topped with two poached eggs and marinated feta ($17). The beans are hearty and robust in flavour, with the addition of cotechino a departure from the ubiquitous chorizo. The arguably more gamey, strong flavoured cotechino works because the meat is bound more loosely in its casing, making it easier to mix into the beans and tomato sauce.  Instead of the advertised sourdough toast the bowl was served with a folded wad of hot and stretchy naan which I actually preferred.

Touchwood Richmond

I’m lured back to the menu for Touchwood‘s signature dish – peanut butter and jelly waffles ($16). This Elvis-style calorific dish comprises poached raspberries with a vibrant sauce and chunks of peanut brittle along with a large mound of whipped peanut butter ricotta. The waffles are just crisp from the waffle iron and using wholemeal flour (the only concession to health in this dish) means that they are dense enough that the PB&J combination doesn’t disintegrate the segments. My only quibble is that I would have preferred the cold contrast of ice cream instead of the very subtly flavoured ricotta.

There are two menu items for little people – Banana soldiers, chocolate or raspberry coulis dipping sauce ($10) and scrambled eggs, toast, grilled bacon ($10). But I suspect you’re going to have to fend off little hands from your waffles!

Drinks are provided by a trinity of Melbourne producers – coffee from Five Senses, tea from Storm in a Teacup and the chocolate from Mork.

There’s lots to like about Touchwood. For me it ticks all the boxes in terms of food, ambience, service and price and is the sort of cafe that I’d happily travel to visit.


  • pram access;
  • high chairs;
  • standard menu suitable for kids;
  • kids menu.

Touchwood, 480 Bridge Rd, Richmond +61 3 94299347

Monday – Friday 7:00 – 4:00

Saturday Sunday 7:30 – 4:30

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Joyce Watts

Joyce Watts is a former intellectual property, IT and media lawyer turned entrepreneur. She combines her love for kids, food, travel and bikes into several passion projects.

She owns an online bike store; develops and produces bike-related creative experiences for families via; and writes another popular lifestyle and food blog called MEL: HOT OR NOT The decisive guide to Melbourne with (non-kid related) reviews about things to do and places to go in Melbourne.

She lives in inner-city Melbourne with her husband, two children and seven bikes.

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