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Third Wave Cafe in Prahran is the sister cafe to their first cafe/restaurant in Port Melbourne. The Port Melbourne location specialises in American BBQ, and that also carries over to the Prahran restaurant. Third Wave Cafe Prahran mostly does breakfast/brunch/lunch but from Thursday to Saturday they do open their doors for dinner. The chef is Ryo Kitahara who is the protégé of Iron Chef Sakai, which I must admit is pretty special. I was a big fan of the Iron Chef series.

Their location might be easy to miss if you don’t know where you’re going, Google Maps took me into the other direction! It’s located across from a gym (could be an after gym workout meal), on the side of the Woolies and close by to the Prahran Market on Cato Street.

I was invited here by Third Wave Cafe to try their menu and I thank them for the opportunity.

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It isn’t your typically cafe in the sense that it lacks outdoor dining but it’s such a pleasant atmosphere it isn’t missed at all. They have a bar stools area as well as your standard dining setting with plenty of lighting.

Their menu is diverse and you may find it difficult to finally decide on what to order. Having gone for brunch/lunch we ordered a couple of different dishes to try.

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Third Wave’s Pulled Pork Slider with fries tastes as good as it looks. The burger itself contains the pulled pork, with pickled cucumber and fresh coleslaw and their own BBQ sauce. The just cooked pork is seasoned well (and not too salty), adding a bit of the spicy BBQ sauce it complements the slider well. The cold coleslaw in a burger is something I’ve often not tried but here it makes for an interesting combination and certainly feels fresh. The coleslaw itself is light and not too rich in its use of mayonnaise.  The fries are also light and crispy, and not heavy in its use of oil. A very pleasant surprise on how well everything was cooked, without feeling guilty over eating a burger with fries.

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One of Third Wave’s specials is their Texan Fry Up and just maybe one of my favourite dishes ever, really no joke. The slow cooked smoked brisket is the highlight of this dish. It is just simply cooked to perfection. The smokey brisket practically teleports you to an American Steakhouse. It’s most definitely the best meat I’ve ever tasted. Tender and flavourful.

The mushrooms, potatoes, tomatoes all complement the star of the dish and with a small amount of the spicy BBQ sauce it is just simply delicious. The poached egg oozes yolk although the outer most part of the yolk is hard boiled.  Overall, it really makes me want to try their dinner menu because this dish is cooked so well here.

On a side note: this dish was oddly on the breakfast page of their menu under specials, but it seems more like a lunch item to me.

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Their Spicy Ratatouille Baked Eggs also looks as good as it tastes. I’ve actually only recently tried a similar dish at Red Cup Cafe in Box Hill, both are similar in the ingredients they use and both I say are more than satisfying. 

The Spanish Chorizos add the spiciness to the dish, and with the addition of zucchini, eggplant, red peppers, tomatoes and of course eggs topped with Asiago cheese is another winner. Served with toasted Ciabatta bread it is one of those feel good warm dishes that I can see myself eating on a cold morning. The saltiness of the dish comes from the chorizo’s and it could be too much for some but eating this injunction with the crunchy bread and baked vegetables I couldn’t be happier with the meal.

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From my understanding, their hot drinks come with this bite sized mini meringue that has this surprising ginger and possibly cinnamon flavour. Eating this with your coffee, you may even find yourself thinking you just ordered a Chai Latte. Their Latte is light and not too intense. I usually prefer much richer, fuller coffee with not too much foam on top. This isn’t the case here but it is in no way bad, just a decent cup of coffee.

Impressions

Third Wave Cafe definitely impresses with their selection of dishes and the quality of the dishes as well. I really cannot recommend enough the Texan Fry Up and to a lesser extent their Spicy Ratatouille Baked Eggs and with Third Wave Cafe’s Sweets, Paninis, Russian Menu. I don’t think you’ll be bored by the menu anytime soon. Whenever I go back to Prahran, a visit to Third Wave Cafe is on order.

Third Wave on Urbanspoon

Third Wave Cafe – Prahran (Menu)

30 Cato St
Prahran VIC 3181

Opening Hours (Correct as at 15 November 2013)
Monday to Wednesday – 8am to 3pm
Thursday to Saturday – 8am to Late
Sunday – 8am to 4pm

T: 03 9510 2991
M: 04 1255 0854

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The Black Toro on Kingsway, Glen Waverley opened its doors in July 2012, replacing the Urban Burger before it. Their menu is Hispanic influenced  and is one of the few higher priced eateries in the area but it’s fine dining and it has good reason to be, the quality of food served here will speak for itself.

Their interior is mostly dark, with black tables and chairs. Aesthetically, it’s pleasant with a huge Toro artwork on the walls providing a hint of Mexico to Melbourne and adding to that Spanish music playing in the background. It’s a nice touch that creates a different atmosphere.

My two companions and I were a bit overwhelmed with the menu at first, undecided on what to eat. There is a nice selection of starters/entres, mains and desserts, not too many options but enough to ponder on. We wanted to try the Lamb barbacoa as our main but to our slight disappointment we were told it’s unavailable for lunch due to the lamb needing to be slow cooked.

Instead of choosing a couple of dishes, we opted for the $45 Set Menu, helping us decided instead. The waitress mentioned these Set Menu’s are the Chef’s choice, but as we wanted the Sher Wagyu rump as our main, she mentioned that it could be our main if we wanted to.

To start us of we were served Guacamole with tortilla chips, as shown above, and marinated olives (Not pictured). It’s pretty much your standard tortilla corn chips, but the guacamole didn’t appear to have enough avocado flavour to it but was creamy and tasty nonetheless.

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Our second dish was the Grilled corn on the cob with chipotle mayonnaise and toasted masa. As suggested by the waiter, we squeezed the cut lime on top . The corn was nice and juicy, and the mayonnaise not too rich but complementing the corn well. The toasted masa, gave it a hint of saltiness to the corn and mayo. The mayonnaise was delicious as it had a nice spiciness kick to it. A wonderful start to our lunch.

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We were then served each a piece of Potato and Chorizo croquette with manchengo foam. The croquette itself was nice and crunchy. The fried layer wasn’t too thick and the perfect ratio to the potato and chorizo inside. The foam was quite mild in taste, I couldn’t really describe the taste to be honest. It was slightly plain and a tad salty but it worked well with the crispiness of the croquette and potato and chorizo pieces inside. Overall, it’s very filling but very tasty.

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Our next dish was something I’d probably have never ordered but was glad to try. Pickled baby beetroot, goats cheese, quinoa and caperberries, it was an interesting combination of flavours. There was this jelly like diced pieces in this dish that I don’t think is mentioned in the menu, but it’s plentiful so I’m unsure why it’s not included in the dishes name. I found this dish to be overly salty. I’m unsure what it was that made it so salty. I think it might have been the goats cheese but because of the saltiness of the dish it was a bit off putting. I’d say it’s an interesting dish, but I’d probably not order that again.

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Pardon me for the awful picture above. We dug into this one too quickly before I remembered to take a snap. Oops. This was the Mezcal cured salmon, avocado puree, smashed coriander meringue.  The cured salmon was salty but still had a very nice salmon flavour to it. The avocado puree was smooth and I believe it had a hint of citrus juice that made it slightly sour. The smashed coriander meringue was slightly salty too but had an interesting coriander flavour. Quite something different to what I’ve eaten, to be honest. There was caviar on the dish too that wasn’t mentioned on the menu. Overall, it’s a pleasant, more refreshing dish to the two rich dishes before it.

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We had seen many patrons order the Wagyu beef sliders with onion, tomatillo relish & jack cheese before us. Before this we were full already from the croquettes but these little burgers were too appetising. The wagyu beef was so juicy, it was just delicious. Perfect. The cheese and tomato relish complemented the beef well, and really you couldn’t as for a better dish.

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At this point, we were wondering when would the food stop! This dish was the last one before the main. We were served, Pulled pork taco, shredded cabbage & sour cream. I loved this dish because of the surprising spiciness to the sauce. The pork was well cooked and really you couldn’t fault it. A winner in my books.

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Ah the main, the Sher Wagyu rump, chimichurri, parsley & shallot salad. It’s only one shared between the three of us so I’m uncertain how it may go for less or more people. The wagyu beef here was tender, still a bit tough due to the cut but that’s expected. I don’t know how it’s marinated but the juices from the beef were absolutely delicious and with the chimichurri sauce it was just perfect. With this you are served with a shallot salad (Unfortuntely, not pictured) but it reminds me of a coleslaw but without the rich mayonnaise. The bitterness of the salad worked well with the wagyu. A good match.

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We were also served a side of Triple cooked potatoes, paprika salt, garlic aioli, and my golly were these chips good. Boiled, and then deep fried twice, I think slightly different to how Heston Blumenthal does it but works just the same to obtain crispy chips but not overcooked inside. The chips are so crunchy and crispy but inside the potato it was still nice and soft. Delightful. I could certainly do without the garlic aioli and paprika salt as if I didn’t have a couple of salty dishes beforehand, this would have been perfectly fine though. The aioli was creamy but not rich enough like a mayonnaise would be so it went well with the crispy chips.

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Although we didn’t get the set menu with desserts, after seeing a couple of these desserts go out we thought let’s having something to finish our meal off. This was called Peanut butter cheesecake, honeycomb, chocolate sorbet, and as you can see the peanut butter cheesecake is slightly deconstructed. The crumbs of biscuit is what you’d normally find at the base of a cheesecake, and we have a quenelle of the peanut butter cheesecake. I have to say the cheesecake was so flavourful, and intense, delicious to boot. As you’d normally find in peanut butter, it’s a tad salty. My palette was overly salted but again, on its own, adequately salted. The chocolate biscuit crumb gave it that added texture to the dessert and was just as if you were eating a cheesecake.

The honeycomb was crunchy and sweet, but in the mouth it gets stuck to the teeth easily. I actually liked the chocolate sorbet, it had a beautiful chocolate flavour to it unlike most chocolate sorbet or ice-creams around where the chocolate is almost artificial in taste. The sorbet was so light, and melt in your mouth, I couldn’t have asked for something better. A fantastic dessert overall.

Impressions

The Black Toro goes high above what you’d find in Glen Waverley in terms of service and food quality but of course for a price. Their menu encapsulates the Hispanic flavours but makes it their own. My one main complaint would be the over use of salt in their dishes. If you have an aversion for salt, their dishes may not be too your liking. Although if you only order a few dishes, the salt probably won’t be as noticeable.

The Black Toro’s dishes overall are delicious, there are a few I’d probably not order again but many of them I definitely would. I would like to point out even the water had lemon flavour to it which was a nice touch.

The service here was excellent, the two staff members made our dining experience much more pleasant and fuss free. I tip my digital hat to them.

At first I was a bit hesitant to try The Black Toro, it’s not normally in our price range. For a special occasion though, it’s perfectly reasonable. Full to the brim, a bit less in the pocket but immensely satisfying.

The Black Toro on Urbanspoon

The Black Toro (Menu)

79 Kingsway

Glen Waverley VIC 3150

Lunch

Thursday – Sunday 12:00pm – 3:00pm

Dinner

Seven Days 6:00pm to late

T: 03 9561 9696

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Brandy Creek Wines & View Cafe have been on many travel Melbourne shows for it’s pleasant scenery and of course, good food.

It has been shown on Postcards, a Melbourne TV travel and food show,  a while back and I couldn’t catch it’s name. So I searched endlessly and gave up eventually. However, maybe a year or two later it was shown on Coxy’s Big Break, but I missed the name again. For some reason, I just ended up searching ‘Victoria Paella’ and Brandy Creek Wines shows up at the top.

Curious enough, I looked to see what they had, and the Paella Feast piqued my interest. We also had my parent’s anniversary coming up, so it was good timing.

Located in Drouin East, near Warragul, their Paella Feasts are quite an attraction. With 6 large bowls of 5 different styles of Paella, and one cazuella. You definitely get your monies worth here.

IMG_5529Outside you can see their beautiful vineyard. Although it was drizzling that day, it was nonetheless a pleasant viewing experience.

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IMG_5521With their Paella Feasts, you are provided a selection of tapas. The golden brown potato tapas (Obvious I don’t know much about Spanish food isn’t it?) was fantastic. This was preapared by Head Chef Courtney Websdale.

IMG_5522Nice fresh bread to go along with the tapas.

IMG_5547Now for the main meal…IMG_5546This particular paella was made for Vegetarians. However, that’s not to say it was in anyway inferior. It didn’t need any meat to make it taste good. With all these fresh vegetables cooked with a tasty stock and nicely cooked rice, what could go wrong?

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This Paella is a Photographer’s delight. Also a Pork lover’s delight too, might I add. Their Paella Cerdo y Conejo is a mix of succulent pork, rabbit and apple Paella, topped with amazingly crunchy crackling pork. I have nothing else to say about this one, it was fantastic, and also the first time I’ve eaten rabbit, which had a great flavour to it.

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The Paella Machega is cooked with beef, mushroom, quail and egg. The beef was very tender and I can’t really fault it.

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The Chicken & Chorizo Cazuella was probably my favourite one. Funnily enough, it isn’t a paella but tasted great nonetheless.

This had tender chicken, and spicy chorizo with saffron rice. The slightly salted chorizo combined with the tomato based sauced, it just appeals to the inner Italian in me.

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The Paella de Marisco aka Seafood Paella, had all the great makings of a great seafood paella. Jam packed with fish, prawns, mussels, claims, calamari and baby octopus. It definitely was a seafood lover’s dish. For me it had an overpowering mussel flavour, only because I made my Seafood Risotto not long before this and that was packed full of mussels. So I definitely had my mussel fix by then, and of course I could only notice the mussel flavour here so although it wasn’t something I would go back for that day. I can’t ignore that it was well cooked and had great flavours to boot.

IMG_5560My selection of paella from the 6 dishes.

IMG_5564You also get a choice of three desserts. Since there were three of us, we managed to try them all!

This ice-cream was smooth and crunchy (from the honeycomb) and had a great caramel flavour to it. Delicious

IMG_5567These Spanish doughnuts can be found in a couple of Melbourne eateries now adays, and these crunchy little things were quite tasty I must admit. The chocolate sauce wasn’t too sweet like you can find in Spanish Doughnuts Churros franchises, and these churros have a higher crispy to dough ratio (because they are thinner) but it was really good.

IMG_5569This was probably my favourite dessert. Yes yes it’s just a panna cotta, but it was an (If I can recall correctly) an Vanilla  Panna Cotta, with Candied Walnuts and an Orange sauce. It was simply silky smooth and tasted amazing.

IMG_5570Along with your desserts you get to sample their in-house liquers. They definitely go well with their desserts and I had to unfortunately lay the responsibility of designated driver onto my mother because who can resist free tastings of liquers.

IMG_5579To top it off you can order coffee or tea to end your fantastic meal.

Although their Paella Feasts are probably more on the pricey end, a great selection of paella (which you can go back for seconds or thirds, or even takeaway some too!), dessert, tapas, samples of their alcohol and warm drink to complete your meal. It definitely is worth it.

You will need to book for these as there are limited seats (I believe it houses 100) each weekend and they fill up quickly!

Also be warned, you will be satisfied.

Brandy Creek Wines & View Cafe on Urbanspoon

Brandy Creek Wines & View Cafe

570 Buln Buln Rd
Drouin East, 3818
(03) 5625 4498

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