Thursday, February 18, 2016

Rice Paper, Melbourne - Review

On our recent Road Trip from Sydney to Mornington Peninsula, we spend a day in the Melbourne CBD. While it wasn't nearly enough time to check out the wonders that Melbourne has to offer, it gave us a little peek into what the city centre is. Safe to say, we'll be making a trip straight to Melbourne and live in the city so that we can explore it a little more.

The drive to Melbourne from Rye in the Peninsular was smooth. We hit a little traffic once we got closer to Brighton and St. Kilda, but made it in good time. After wandering around the streets of Melbourne, it was time to pick out a spot to have lunch. There are so many options, it is hard to choose. Initially we were in a part of town which had options, but weren't to interesting. Just when we were ready to settle, we stumbled onto gold, better know as Swanston Street. After checking out the options on the street, which seemed endless, we settled on Rice Paper, specialising in Vietnamese street food. It was a great choice, because my husband and I both love Asian flavours. Oh and this time I remembered to take a few pictures.

Its was really crowded even though we got there at about 2 in the afternoon, but we got seated immediately. The staff were really friendly and on the job. The place seemed very open and airy and I liked that. We were starving after all that walking around, so we decided to try out a few menu options. That wasn't easy. There were so many things I wanted to try.

We simply had to try the rice paper rolls. I mean, come on! that's what they're called! How could we not try them. So we got a couple of prawn rice paper rolls with the spicy hoisin sauce.

The rolls were fresh and tightly packed with succulent prawns, rice vermicelli noodles and fresh greens. We loved the mint leaves in there, it lightened and freshened the rolls up. I would have liked a little more acidity in the sauce though. It was a good thing then that we had also ordered the crab claws.

Now the crab claws themselves, we just okay. I have had better at a takeaway joint on the Gold Coast, QLD (unfortunately I cannot remember the name). But these were crunchy and more importantly came on a bed of gloriously pickled veggies, namely carrot and daikon radish. I absolutely loved the pickled veggies. They were more than just basic pickled vegetables. There was an unmistakable hint of garlic too, which I loved. The dipping sauce was sweet chilly sauce. I preferred this sauce with the rice paper rolls too. But that's probably just me.

For mains, we called for the Saigon Curry Chicken on rice and the Crispy Skin Chicken on rice.

The Saigon Curry Chicken on rice was this big bowl of Chicken curry with succulent pieces of chicken and this was served with some coconut rice. A beautiful combination, one that any curry lover would be very happy with. The curry was also coconut based and perfectly spiced and flavourful.

The Crispy Skin Chicken on rice came with some fresh salad greens, the pickled veggies (Yay!) some sweet chilly dipping sauce and a huge portion of coconut rice topped with some tiny dried, roasted shrimp (I'm pretty sure that's what it was). I personally found the rice a little dry to be eaten just as is. It's a good thing the Saigon Curry Chicken was a generous portion. But that Crispy Skin Chicken was fantastic. Crispy skin as promised with some nice charred, smokey flavour and the meat inside was still moist and flavourful.

We washed all this wonderful food down with a tall glass of Tropical Iced Lychee ...

... and a Tropical Iced Longan

The whole meal cost us $44 bucks. However, I think we overdid it and if we had to opportunity to eat here regularly, we'd probably pace ourselves. That being said, I think it was good value for money. The portions were generous, the food flavourful and the ambience was relaxed. I know I'd go back for sure.

Disclaimer: This post is not a sponsored post. I haven't been compensated for it in cash or kind. This is just a meal we really enjoyed, and all of the comments above, my humble opinion.

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