• Third Wave Cafe and the power of online.

Epitomising the power of social media in this digital age of ours, Third Wave Cafe has emailed me invitations to their cafe four times.  Once, I even took them up on the offer.  But it seems the spamming won’t stop till I have a shiny post up on my blog about the physically inconspicuous, but digitally viral, cafe.  I am not special.  Everyone has been invited here, enough for it to raise the eye brows of ACCC staff who have begin to question the morality of invites and online reviews.  Read more about the guidelines here.

Located in a regimented street, the only way you may otherwise find this cafe is by visiting the gym opposite.  The set up is modern and casual with wooden floors and a long counter running the opposite wall to the glass front.  It is attractive and open.

The brunch menu is extensive and vegetarian options are clearly marked.  I opted for the shakshuka ($18.90)  at the waiter’s recommendation, described as “spiced baked eggs and richly flavoured tomato and red pepper sauce”.

I love eating out as different cooks bring different flavours.  It was a bizarre experience to try something that tasted of the exact flavours I would use at home.  In fact, the recipe seemed almost exactly the same as the eggs poached in tomato I posted on my blog years ago...  Theirs was well presented with ciabata and fresh basil.  The sauce was mainly onion (there was too much of it) and it lacked flavour.  The eggs were not baked as described but poached and placed on top. Unfortunately they were overcooked.


The coffee was bland and milky.


Apparently Third Wave is highly regarded for their American BBQ and ribs – something about which I have also been emailed.  Pity for them I don’t eat animals.

I admit to attending places when I am invited but always include these details in my posts so that you know it was on invitation.  I also don’t let this impact my review and experience of the food.  Let me know what you think.  Is it wrong for restaurants to invite bloggers to review?  Would you respect a review if it is based on an experience where the writer had been invited?

Third Wave Cafe
30 Cato Street
Prahran 3181
03 9510 2991
www.thirdwavecafe.com.au

Third Wave on Urbanspoon

15 comments:

  1. Very nice, honest and much needed review. It's great to see someone finally write about Third Wave's use of the blogging industry to make a name for itself.

    I actually quite liked my food there. Pity you didn't have the same experience. There is nothing worse than overcooked poached eggs.

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  2. Hi Miss MM, thanks for the comment. It was a shame as it has received a lot of publicity, but I just found it to be average. I'm glad to hear you enjoyed it at least! What did you order? I will check out your post.

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    1. I had the risotto hash brown which was delicious and very filling. It was recommended to me though. Also did not have coffee so can't comment on that :)

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  3. Bloggers seem to have a strong impact on restaurants and cafes so it's understandable that they want to invite bloggers. You do make it clear if you have been invited. If you embellish the truth, it will soon become obvious to your readers and they will stop taking your reviews seriously. So far I haven't been disappointed when I go to a cafe or restaurant recommended by you. Keep it up :-) Ros

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  4. Thanks for your kind words Ros and for always following me. It does bring up some interesting issues I think. Each person experiences things differently. I can only speak honestly about the individual experiences I have had. I love eating...so usually when I am doing this I am happy. :)

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    1. Carry on eating and being happy :-)) Ros

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  5. I also received an invite to Third Wave but as I don't do a lot of restaurant reviews (unless they're Middle Eastern/Mediterranean), bypassed it. After reading a few (glowing) reviews, then receiving another e-mail from them, it started to just feel seedy. Sorry to hear about your lackluster meal. And thanks for posting the ACCC guidelines - off to scan those now.

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  6. me too. I loved it as well. You can check out my review here: http://newintstudents.blogspot.com.au/2013/11/third-wave-cafe-in-prahran-by-katherine.html

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  7. Thanks for your comment Yasmeen - seedy is a good way to put it. I wouldn't have minded so much if they had not been so disorganised with their emails. Melbourne Gastronome did a more detailed look into the guidelines which I found really useful: http://www.melbournegastronome.com/2013/12/the-new-accc-guidelines-australian-law.html They are more guidelines than laws. We have to be multi-talented these days us bloggers ;)

    Thanks Sally. I didn't love it, but good to see you enjoyed your meal.

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  8. Lis the coffee art was shocking and you reviewed it equally as bad. I will not be choosing to dine here- based on the pictures and your objective review of this place; I always trust your reviews! xx

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  9. Thank you Camilla. It is hard because I know it is tough in the hospitality business, but it's also unfair of people to write rave reviews about a place (and for others to go there based on that review) when the experience is disappointing.

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  10. Fascinating -- I do wonder how customers of restaurants overlap with readers of blogs, and what the impact has. Thanks for posting the guidelines!

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  11. Hi Theresa, thanks for commenting. That would be a very interesting thing to know! By coincidence, Third Wave have just sent me another email. This one has the heading "First Ever BBQ Rib Eating Competition - could be interesting for your readers". Could it get any worse?? They at least thanked me for reviewing them (obviously without reading my post).

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    1. I just received the same email and sent a short, rude reply.

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  12. Oh, and now another email with the subject: "Correction with working link BBQ Rib Eating Competition by Third Wave Cafe".

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