Third Wave Cafe
Invited to try this branch of a Port Melbourne favourite, as a fairly new writer I was kind of flattered when we introduced ourselves to the waiter and he asked in his American accent, “Are you a blogger?”
The restaurants are owned by a Russian woman, thus you will find the menu with some typical meals with some Russian, but also American BBQ twists. The Prahran branch is slightly concealed on a small street off Chapel St and it didn’t get too busy until later in the afternoon, I guess due to its fairly new location and the fact it was a lazy public holiday. The decor is quite simple and minimalistic, with various cushions, white chairs and mainly white walls. The most adventurous part was this wall of overhanging pot plants and another corner with some light brown wallpaper.
Having seen pictures of a white chocolate mocha, but not seeing it on the menu, I queried whether they could make it. They happily made it and also a vanilla latte for us. The mocha came without coffee art as the waiter informed me he hadn’t made one before. I really enjoyed the flavour, which was just sweet enough, and the serving mug was quite large! However, it had some clumps throughout of powder that hadn’t been mixed in properly. We couldn’t really taste any vanilla in the latte too.
From the moment they invited me, they had recommended the Crunchy Risotto Hash Brown ($19.40, above), seared mushroom and parmesan risotto hash topped with butter mushrooms, chorizo, roasted tomato and poached egg on a bed of rocket. I gladly took this recommendation as it pretty much had everything I need and love (meat, egg, hash brown) without the need to order any extras (so rare)!
I enjoyed the two rectangular risotto hash browns, with its crispy edges and risotto pieces inside. It still tasted pretty similar to a normal hash brown, but I like their experimentation, as it’s pretty impressive for the taste to be the same when I could clearly see the risotto inside. They served a generous amount of rocket underneath the mushroom and chorizo, however the chorizo was a little hard. Perhaps if the chorizo was cooked a bit better and an extra egg was added for a price of nearly $20, it would make a winning meal!
My friend went for an American inspired dish, the Texan Fry Up ($18.40, above). This included slow smoked brisket, panfried with Kiefler potatoes and butter mushrooms in house made spicy BBQ sauce, topped with a poached egg. It also said served on a bed of roasted vegetables, which I believe was pretty much the aforementioned ingredients plus tomato.
Once again, the meat was a little overcooked, but I loved the spiciness of the meat and BBQ sauce. This is probably what I enjoyed most about the dish, its spicy Texan kick. It even comes with extra sauce on the side. In comparison and competition with many other brunch places, my friend would have also preferred another egg, although it does state one on the menu. But if the meat was more on the tender side, I think this also has the potential to be a great dish.
Even more generous, the cafe offered us some Cherry Cheese Blintzes ($15.40) to try, a Russian pancake (on the breakfast menu) a bit similar to crepes. They were plated beautifully and came with a cute little jar of blueberry jam.
As we cut eagerly into our goodies, we were quite amazed to find it bursting with a pink concoction of cherries and cream cheese. The creamy insides had a slightly sour taste, but not overbearing, and with small doses of blueberry jam really worked well. It was something a bit different for breakfast/dessert, and an introduction to Russian culture.
I think as Third Wave eases into its new location and brushes up on the details of their dishes, they can be the cafe to go to for a different dose of culture and food with a difference. Most of their menu items raise curiosity whilst simultaneously sounding delicious, and our palettes were really treated to some new ideas and flavours during this meal. Many thanks to Greg who invited us to dine in!
Third Wave Cafe is located at 30 Cato St, Prahran and is open Mon-Fri 7am-4pm and 8am-4pm. Their Port Melbourne branch is also open for dinner, find more info here.
Mon’s Adventures dined as a guest of Third Wave Cafe.