Friday, 20 June 2014

Double Meat, Double Carb, BAM! {Third Wave Cafe- Prahran Review}

Late last year the team behind Third Wave Cafe in Port Melbourne opened a second cafe in Prahran, bringing their American/Russian (what a combination!) food to the Southside. I was invited to try their lunch menu not long after they opened (you can read about it here) and loved it. We ate big saucy burgers, what's not to love. So when I was invited back to try the American BBQ dinner menu how could I refuse?

But American BBQ isn't really something I have been schooled in. I had never eaten ribs and BBQ sauce was an optional condiment in a squeezy bottle, in my previous experience. So I took the closest person I had to an American with me, the Divine Miss R; who has been to America at least twice, is going back again next week and most importantly has a gorgeous American partner. I checked she wasn't vegetarian, warned her that it was expected she eat her own body weight in meat and with all the bases covered, we were ready.

But first, the wine. I was quite hungover from a vintage party the night before where multiple bottles of burgundy were produced driving so we were excited to see that they do a range of half bottles. Bring back the carafe I say! It allows the DD (designated driver) to have a glass of wine and their dining companion to have a couple without becoming completely splooshed (technical term). We chose the Selback riesling from Mosel in Germany- it has enough residual sugar to not taste bitter up against all that BBQ sauce, with some refreshing acidity to cut through the finger-licking greasiness.

We deliberated over the menu for a while with Big Decisions to be made like:
Do we get both the beef and pork ribs as the (enormously affable) manager suggested? But I wasn't sure I would like ribs....
The Duck Fat Potatoes with Rosemary Dust were a given, but which other side should we get? Coleslaw? Green salad? or Smoked Mac and Cheese?

We erred on the side of caution with the ribs but could not talk ourselves out of that mac and cheese. "Double meat, double carb us up" we said,* and a short time later we were presented with

Pork ribs
pork ribs third wave prahran
So, as it turns out, I do like ribs. Very much. My fear about them being bony, fatty lumps of chewiness was completely unfounded. What they are is saucy, tender, melt-in-your-mouth chunks of barbarianism.

Beef brisket
beef brisket third wave prahran
Tasty but to be honest, a little healthy. The meat was tender and the sauces (horseradish and spicy IQ BBQ) flavoursome, but not earth shattering.


Duck Fat Potatoes
confit duck fat potatoes third wave prahran

Smoked Mac and Cheese (medium serve)
Smoked mac and cheese third wave prahran

Oh yes!
Smoked mac and cheese food porn third wave prahran
The potatoes were crunchy and salty and good but this little sucker took the cake(-room right out of our stomachs). Imagine if you will, the creamiest, cheesiest macaroni in the world, add some smoky bacon (which honestly makes everything better) and then smoke the whole thing with hickory wood.

If you live near Prahran and need a food coma (because, lets face it, few things in this life are more comforting) just order yourself a large serve of this. They will even do it as takeaway, because sometimes these things need to be experienced recumbent, in your jim jams.

I took this next photo to show you how well two (previously) small women handled this challenge.
That there's some purdy fine eatin'.

*We may have just ordered normally off the menu, so as not to freak the waitress out.

Disclaimer: As mentioned, I was invited to dine here but as always, all opinions are my own.


  1. OH MY GOD what even. That Mac n Cheese, the potatoes?! I must go here. p.s did you get my response about my Camera? Canon 100d w/ 50mm 1.8 lens.
    Bec x

    1. They do have a bit of vegetarian food too (be careful with the mac and cheese though- it had bacon in it- am I correct in remembering you are vegetarian?).
      That is one snazzy camera lady- happy with it?

  2. Yeah the American cuisine thing is really taking off in Aus isn't it? We've had a couple of restaurants open up here offering that (one specialises in Cajun food, I must get there soon).

    I'm not a rib person at all but even I can see how delicious they look! And +1 on the mac cheese, oh yes.


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