Update: You are welcome to read our review below, however, a friend has visited more recently and had a very poor experience, therefore I do not feel comfortable to continue to recommend this cafe based on the experience below. Please do your own research before planning a visit.
Three one 2 one exploded on to the Richmond food scene, and probably your insta feed too, with its crazy shakes and fully loaded burgers. We were invited down this week to try it out and see what all the hype is about. I must have walked past three one 2 one a hundred times, usually on my way to buy something uninteresting, or in that mind set that I’m in Richmond so I must eat cheap Asian food, at all costs. However, I’ve lusted after their burgers and shakes for so long, and after now trying them, I won’t be walking past again.
The atmosphere is more chilled cafe than restaurant, they draw in a varied crowd of people, all eagerly snapping and sipping those gorgeous shakes. There’s a good variety of seating options, and the interior is simple and clean, with inoffensive background music to give it a lively feel. We were seated on a large table by the window, and despite being busy, we felt well separated from the other tables (except when we were getting food envy waiting for ours to arrive).
As a group we ordered a variety of burgers and shakes (and an omelette from their breakfast menu – which you probably didn’t even know they did), and a side of loaded fries. All of the burgers were presented beautifully on boards – and there were a lot of empty boards afterwards, if you want a nod to the quality. The chicken burger with it’s red bun looked particularly impressive, although I have to admit when the mac and cheese drizzling out of my burger was pointed out to me, there wasn’t any FOMO here! It’s called a kick-ass mac n cheese burger for a reason.
The burger was cooked perfectly (all their patties are cooked medium), the bun was soft and the toppings worked well together – now I am so fussy with burgers, so that’s a big thing coming from me! However, the highlight was that divine mac n cheese, with jalapenos stirred through it just had a gentle chilli kick, and much as I really enjoyed the burger (it’s one of the best I’ve had in Melbourne), I’d trade it for a bowl of this cheesy pasta goodness – it was just that delicious! We also ordered the carbonara loaded fries. The fries were perfectly crispy with a nice flavour, and that carbonara sauce was so great! The toppings on both the burgers and the fries were generous and everything added something to the dish. While they definitely look great, there’s nothing about the food that’s there just for effect.
The shakes have to be the most out of this world ones I have ever seen. They are practically a meal in itself with the insane number of toppings you get. I opted for the white ninja (complete with kinder egg, swiss roll, fairy floss, chocolate slice and MnMs. I loved the nutty flavour of mine, and wished I’d had more room in my stomach to enjoy more of the lovely cakes on top. From the look of them I was worried it would be sickly sweet, but it was a smooth enjoyable shake and I actually enjoyed how refined the flavours were. While mine tasted amazing (and looks pretty awesome too) without a doubt the two most instagrammable ones were The Pleasure World, piled high with lollies, waffles and fairy floss; and Neverland, with its waterfall of fairy floss and multicoloured lollipop, on top of malteasers, tim tams and a ton of whipped cream.
Overall, such an enjoyable experience. While I struggled to finish my meal, I was so pleasantly surprised that while it looked crazy, the taste was not overwhelming at all. They’ve managed to cleverly combined a vibrant look with well thought out flavours to create an instagrammer’s dream – a meal that looks and tastes equally amazing! Thank you so so much for having us three one 2 one, I can’t wait to come back and try some other crazy concoctions!