Islamabad-The Third Wave blurs the lines between coffee shop and restaurant.

Little did Alvin Toffler know that The Third Wave, a bestseller he authored in the 1980’s, will lend its name to a restaurant in Islamabad after half a century. Located in F-7, the coffee shop-turned-restaurant is located on an upper deck, treating its guest with a bird’s eye view, a trend set by Chaaye Khana.  As the theory goes, the phrase First Wave denoted the agricultural societies whose livelihood was dependent on agricultural income. The second wave was a shift from agricultural means to industrial age resulting in revolutionising the countries. During the Third Wave, the post-industrial society saw a major shift from industrial growth towards information technology.

24 year old entrepreneur, Wajahat Aslam Raja, is the Third Wave product of this society. “We have six different companies but my interest lies in food. Third Wave which I originally started off as a coffee shop, offers freshly brewed coffees from Ethiopia, Brazil, and Costa Rica with the latest coffee utensils and fully-trained waiters serving as per the customers’ needs,” said Wajahat.

 The eatery has recently introduced breakfast and hi-tea menu encouraged by the response it received in terms of footfall in the coffee shop. The hi-tea platter is filled with assortments one would like during evening tea. A three-tier bone china platter makes it rather difficult for the customers to decide where to start from. Spring rolls, chicken skewers, chicken strips and finger fish lay on the base whereas mini-burgers, buffalo panini, quesadillas, cheese tart, honey wings on the second. Dessert items include the likes of lemon tart, carrot cake pastry, red velvet pastry and chocolate fudge cake. At a price of Rs1,050, the platter can easily fill up the appetite of two hungry guests. To wash down the savoury, the guests get to choose between green tea and black tea.  Chicken cubes are tender but slightly bland. However, the intertwined capsicum, caramelised onion and tomato chunks roped in along the chicken made the skewers release a symphony of flavours.

Chicken strips and fish fingers are both crunchy on the edges and meaty on the inside. Honey wings could have been more tantalising if served hot. The marinated sauce was spicy and the wings carried a tinge of tamarind. Cheese tart and quesadillas were indeed a welcome entry since hi–tea platters served in other restaurants do not offer any Mexican delicacy. It was simply not possible to try out all the dessert items by the time one reaches the finishing point. Carrot cake pastry was baked to perfection. The soft sponge, with thick icing melted in the mouth. However, the same could not be said about the chocolate fudge. It was dry and less gooey than it should have been.

The eatery offers hi-tea from 3 pm till 6:30 pm whereas the breakfast timings are from 8 am till 12 midnights. I believe that items like French toast, waffles or crepes should not be time limited. Many customers with a sweet tooth craving want something sweet to go with evening tea so why limit it till 11 am only. “It’s a hospitality industry and one should do everything possible to please the customers and make available what they need” explains the business major.  The Third Wave is also overhauling its lunch and dinner menu but that will be kept a secret till February. “Our new chef, with extensive culinary experience, is expected any day and once he takes charge and settles down, we will work out a new continental menu”, Wajahat said.

–The writer is a freelance contributor