I haven’t had such an enjoyable spontaneous Friday night dinner with the hubby for a while now. Great food, drinks, desserts, value, service and ambiance, all in this place, Rice Paper Scissors. Their restaurant is modelled on the hawker dining bars of South East Asia with a shared dining concept. They have two dining locations, one in the CBD and the other in Fitzroy. We went to the Fitzroy restaurant about 15 mins before 7pm and we could get a table easily so the night started off well.
Rice Paper Scissors’ $59 for 5 dishes to be shared amongst 2 people is such a great value for such great tasting dishes. Their food menu is extensive covering South East Asian flavours mainly Thai and Vietnamese. We selected Sticky Pork Belly, BBQ Lamb Ribs, Crispy Barramundi, Crying Tiger and one from the specials Balinese duck with sambal paste.
Our first dish was the Sticky Pork Belly, Muu Krob.Twice cooked pork in a tamarind caramel sauce topped with fragrant herb salad.
This was probably one of the best tasting sticky pork belly I’ve ever had in Melbourne. The tamarind caramel sauce was really fragrant and not too sweet. The pork belly was cooked perfectly, long enough that the meat was tender and the fat was really juicy. The skin was crispy and just slightly sticky. This is great as the pork belly didn’t annoyingly got stuck to my teeth as other sticky pork belly dishes do. The hubby loved and missed this dish so much he was inspired to replicate it at home. Not all sticky pork belly had this effect on him!
The second dish was the Crispy Barramundi, Yam Pla Foo.Tapioca dusted Barramundi with a green apple and roast cashew salad and nahm jim dressing.
I selected this because I’ve always loved nahm jim dressing. The flavour was decent but I think the Barramundi could be more crispy. I’m used to eating fresh steamed Barramundi with silky smooth flesh so this texture didn’t quite work for me. Having said that, I still ate more pieces than the hubby!
Our third dish was the BBQ lamb ribs, Sii Krong Neux.Mekong whiskey marinated lamb ribs in a special sticky sauce.
I absolutely loved this dish! It was very delicious, slightly crispy but most importantly the meat that was so tender it fall off the bone very easily. I would definitely go back for this dish. Their sauce was indeed special, a taste I could only associate with Rice Paper Scissors at the moment.
Our fourth dish was the special Balinese duck on sambal coconut paste.
The duck leg was tender and the sambal paste was fragrant. However, I’d prefer the paste to be spicier.
Our fifth dish was the Crying Tiger, Seua Rong Hai. Chargrilled beef with a spicy citrus dipping sauce.
The beef was juicy and tender. Despite the name Crying Tiger, it’s really not that spicy at all so don’t expect to cry!
We had actually ordered a scallop dish from the specials board which was highly recommended by the waitress. Unfortunately, they mixed up our order and brought us the pork belly twice! When we said we were expecting the scallop dish, I was disappointed to hear they’ve ran out of scallops! Hence, we replaced it with Crying Tiger.
Despite the mixed up, they handled the situation very well and treated us to a dessert and hubby’s beer on the house!
For dessert, we had Mum, I Dropped the Ice Cream! Yuzu sorbet with white chocolate ganache and puffed quinoa.
This was simply wonderful and on point! I absolutely loved the yuzu sorbet, especially since we’re really into yuzu recently. Yuzu is such a versatile ingredient that it’s just so suitable for both sweets and savoury dishes. The plating was done so well it visually excites our taste buds. I liked the added texture from the puffed rice and the random broken ice cream cone.
I’ve already had this in mind when I first saw it on the menu as we were deciding on the sharing dishes. First thing that came to my mind was Osteria Francescana’s signature dish, Oops I Dropped the Lemon Tart! I learned of this dish from the first episode of Netflix’s Chef’s Table which showcased Chef Massimo Bottura, owner and head chef at this restaurant, now No. 2 in the world. Even though I haven’t been to his restaurant in Modena, Italy, he’s one of my favourite chefs because of his intense passion for modern cooking. He persevered through hardships and broke the disapproval of modern Italian cuisine in a country where any cooking style that deviates away from traditional Italian nonna’s cooking is highly frowned upon.
Sorry I digressed a little here, but I couldn’t help but wonder if Rice Paper Scissor’s dish was inspired by Massimo Bottura’s signature dish?
All in all, we thoroughly enjoyed this meal at Rice Paper Scissors and we’ll definitely return for their winning dishes, Sticky Pork Belly and BBQ Lamb Ribs, and to try other items from their extensive menu too. Their drinks menu is extensive as well with drinks that fuses both Asian and Western drinks, such as Vietnamese Espresso Martini or Lemongrass Tom Collins. We didn’t try them last visit but I’d definitely love to next time! The service was great too, the crew were really friendly and all of them seemed so happy to be there.
As an avid Instagrammer who uses hashtags way too excessively, I’d have to comment on theirs which is not simply the restaurant name but it’s about the whole comfortable and casual shared eating concept… #useyourhands
#useyourhands to make a sambal duck Betel leaf wrap
#useyourhands to devour the delicious BBQ lamb ribs