Ahh Bridge Road, the domain of discount stores on one end and furniture retailers on the other, right? Wrong! Enter Touchwood – Richmond's latest and greatest café and a welcome addition to the homewares-centric end of the strip.
Touchwood, the project of Tall Timber's Steve Rowley and Matt Vero and Pillar of Salt's Jamie McBride and crew, offers a drool worthy line-up of breakfast, lunch, pastries to grab & go and, most importantly, a damn fine cup of joe. Add that to Touchwood's stellar DNA and there's no need for traditions that bring luck.
The space, once a recycled timber furniture store, is light, bright and open, fitting 100+ patrons. Take a seat in the large front area, partially separated by a brick wall with a communal table running through it, by the kitchen, or even in the courtyard out the back. The décor, which is exactly how I'd furnish my home, features high ceilings, white walls and lots of timber, decorated with pops of colour and greenery courtesy of Pop Plant. It feels cozy here though – a trademark of the owners' previous cafes – and the service is happy and snappy.
Now, for the important stuff…the food and coffee! My eyes bugged out of my head when I first saw the menu – it was near impossible to choose from the mouth-watering breakfast offerings that include fresh and poached fruit with yogurt and candied pecans, five grain porridge with coconut cream and palm sugar glazed banana, peanut butter and jelly wholemeal waffles (THE business), and tequila and citrus cured salmon with poached eggs, smashed peas and lemon crème fraiche.
Touchwood does lunch too, with highlight dishes including quinoa and pomegranate salad, herb and parmesan crusted chicken schnitzel with farro, pinenuts and feta tabouleh, and pulled pork tacos with cabbage, coriander and apple compote.
But the coffee, ohhhh the coffee! The Five Senses beans combine with a beast of a machine from Synesso to produce some of the best coffee this side of town. Single or double, long or short, with or without milk – order a cup or two while you're there and another for the road. Not a caffeine fan? While I recoil in horror, treat yourself to a Silver Fox or Lemonzilla tea (amongst other flavours) from Storm in a Teacup, or perhaps a fresh orange or green juice.
Whatever happens, this Saturday when you decide to hit up the furniture shops in a fit of home decorating madness, make sure you detour and head to Touchwood first. With their lineup of stellar food and coffee, it's the perfect fuel for the long shopping trip ahead.
Touchwood | 480 Bridge Road in Richmond
Weekdays 7:00am – 4:00pm
Weekends 7:30am – 4:30pm
Image Credit: Emma Forster.