Third Wave Cafe | Itali.Co
Disclosure: I was invited to dine at these restaurants
Third Wave Cafe
I think accepting restaurant invites can be a double-edged sword. Yes, I’m getting a free meal, but usually editing the photos and writing the post takes much much longer than the actual meal itself. The other thing is these dinners are often organised as a massive bloggers’ gathering, where you sit at a long table (or stand around with drinks and nibbles) and have to make small talk with new people. For the introvert in me, that can be quite stressful.
All that said, I’ve recently had an invite meal that was a lot more pleasant. The invite was sent by a blogger himself: Kenny from Consider The Sauce. He was trying to help get the word out for a Port Melbourne cafe that has started doing slow-smoked BBQ dinners on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. Kenny organised for a cosy table for 5 (himself included), which was a much nicer number in terms of getting to know each other.
And the plus point was the cafe’s a mere stone’s throw away from my home! So all I did was go home after work and have a short stroll over for this little dinner on a Thursday night. I entered the space, was greeted by smiling staff and led to my table of food companions – Kenny himself, Eve from Conversation With Jenny, Catty from Fresh Bread and Urbanspoon reviewer Nat Stockley.
Slow Smoked BBQ Chicken | Salmon
I was actually an hour late because of work, but my companions saved a bit of each dish for me (except the reputedly amazing pork ribs). The photos may not do it justice, but both the chicken and salmon were tender and wonderfully flavoursome. The chicken was marinated overnight and smoked using Maple wood for up to 5 hours, while the salmon was brined for 8 hours in salt, sugar and spices, then smoked using apple wood and served with house made dill sauce.
Lamb Shoulder (smoked for 6-8 hrs using Hickory wood) | Confit Kipfler Potatoes (rosemary dust)
Glazed Mushrooms | Beef Brisket (smoked for 8-10hrs using Hickory wood)
The next wave of dishes were spectacular as well. All of the meats were toothsome and tender, and they were accompanied with great tasting homemade sauces.
Another tip, you also have to try the glazed mushrooms, it’s incredibly moreish!
Beef Ribs | Coffee
The last dish was quite nice too, beef ribs smoked using 9 spice dry rub and Hickory wood, then served with 3 different house made BBQ sauces (Spicy Bourbon, Apple Bourbon and the phenomenal iQ).
In terms of product placement, Third Wave Cafe just doesn’t come across as a nighttime American-style BBQ place. But the dishes I had that night was great – I think the slow-smoking makes a big difference. I’d like to thank Kenny for organising this meal.
During daylight hours, Third Wave Cafe features a menu with a Russian slant, containing unfamiliar sounding dishes such as Blintzes (Blinis), Pelmeni, Syrnikis and Sprats. These days, I’m all for doing brunches with a difference, so I’ll probably be back to try out the Russian menu!
1/173-177 Barkly St
St Kilda, VIC 3182
03 9537 5300
The next invite meal was organised by a PR company – Zilla & Brook. I got to visit an Italian kitchen opened by the guy behind +39 pizzeria in the CBD. Incidentally he’s the brother of the owner behind the lovely D.O.C in Carlton and Mornington. So of course I had to say ‘yes!’.
King Fish Carpaccio with marinated strawberries
Cauliflower Pannacotta with pan fried canadian scallops
This time round it was a larger scale, long table type of bloggers’ event. There were many unfamiliar faces and it was a touch intimidating, but I got to catch up with Leaf (The Indolent Cook) and I could bring Fakegf along as my plus one. Sadly, for most of the night we formed our own little quiet ‘capsule’ and did not interact that much. Aaaah… I need to learn to be less shy!
Slow Cooked Boneless Rack of Rabbit | Duck Ravioli
Pan Fried Barramundi | Slow Cooked Beef Cheek
We were treated to an extensive set menu featuring many modern-inspired Italian dishes by head chef Piero Roldo.
Black Ink Tagliolini with moreton bay bugs, snapper, calamari, prawns and fresh tomato
The modern menu was alright, but my favourite dish was the homemade black ink taglioni, this was the best non-pizza dish for the night.
The last savoury course consisted of a selection of pizzas by chef Lino Maglione. To be honest, I secretly wished they served these first – the pizzas were fantastic.
Cassata with Giorgio’s ricotta | Nutella strawberry pizza
We ended the night with two dessert dishes, and once again, I really enjoyed the dessert pizza… I mean, how can one say no to nutella and strawberries???
All in all, if I’m coming back here, I’m making a beeline right for the pizza menu with perhaps the black ink taglione as a side supporting dish. I’d like to thank Mia from Zilla & Brook for extending this dinner invitation. Being the awkward/quiet person that I am in larger groups, I don’t get all that many invites. But still, it’s nice to get to try new places, and maybe with time, I can feel more relaxed at these gatherings.