Nestled in Cato Street, a side street off Commercial Road in Prahran is Third Wave Cafe. Don’t be discouraged by the side street location and the exterior design of this restaurant /cafe. I wasn’t sure what to think as I approached the dark, modern, flush exterior design of the café, until I was pleasantly surprised to step inside a modern yet cosy, warm and inviting space. The rest of my experience at Third Wave Café can basically be summed up by saying it really was one pleasant surprise after the next. The menu is fantastically extensive. Third Wave not only serves an array of your staple breakfast and lunch items, such as egg dishes, focaccias, burgers, pastas and salads, but also specialises in Russian cuisine and American BBQ dishes as well. In addition, there is a page of the menu solely dedicated to Paleo dishes. Usually, I approach a menu that crosses over into too many different cuisines with a bit of caution, a restaurant that tries to do too much. However I am so glad to find that this is most definitely not the case here. It does appear to be quite an odd combination to see such an extensive range of dishes listed side by side on the same menu, but upon tasting the dishes, it became clear that this crazy combination and choice of specialisation works brilliantly at Third Wave Café.
The coffee was great, very smooth and each cup was served with a delicious biscuit too (yes, that’s right, a free biscuit that was actually worth eating!) I highly recommend the Russian Sampler Plate for those who are up for trying some new and a little different. The Russian Sampler Plate came with a Russian salad (a cold potato, roast chicken, boiled egg and vegetable salad with a creamy Dijonaise dressing, which I wasn’t sold on by the menu description, but the tastes came together wonderfully), two varieties of blintzes (Russian filled crepes), which I got to try the Mushroom blintze and a Meat blintze, a small bowl of Pelmeni (Russian meat dumplings) and Syrniki (savoury pancakes). I found the standout was the Mushroom blintze which was very full and rich. I also really enjoyed the dumplings that had a thick texture that was chewy but not rubbery. I found the savoury pancakes were a bit of an acquired taste. The small, thick and very dense pancakes of ricotta, cinnamon and nutmeg were not as sweet as pancakes in Australia are traditionally served, but it was wonderful to sample all the different textures and flavours, and I think The Russian Sampler Plate worked really well on the menu, even in comparison to ordering one of the Russian dishes alone, and I would very likely order it again.
The Zucchini fritters were fantastic. Made from Zucchini and Buckwheat flour and fried in coconut oil, served with house made smoked bacon and a cherry tomato confit, a poached egg and dukkah, the elements of this meal just worked so well together. The bacon was incredible, laced with a delicious smokey flavour, the bacon was thick and meaty so you could really sink your teeth into it, whilst also being very lean with just enough fat for added flavour. Based on the taste of their house made bacon, I look forward to tasting their American BBQ dishes next! The tomatoes were extremely flavoursome and I am happy to say the egg was poached to perfection which is something I am always on the lookout for! This dish is also available on the Paleo menu, and I highly recommend this dish on your visit. Overall, Third Wave Cafe was a fantastic dining experience and I cannot wait to return!
I dined as a guest of Third Wave Café, but I honestly am already planning my next visit, as I would happily pay for their reasonably priced meals and look forward to bringing my friends here too. I highly recommend Third Wave Cafe, a brilliant venue for breakfast, lunch or dinner, that would also serve a group of diners well, as the wide menu selection is bound to cater for everybody. Third Wave Café shows a lot of pride and a lot of heart in their menu and their carefully prepared, delightful dishes do not disappoint! For the daring, or super hungry, follow the link to check out their American BBQ Ribs Eating Challenge!
Disclosure: Melbourne Darling was invited to dine as a guest of Third Wave Cafe. This in no way influenced my review and as always, I maintain a promise to provide my readers with content that is my 100% honest opinion.