(15 Hardware Lane, Melbourne, April 2023)
It’s a little funky, a little trendy, dare we say? – a little woke, but while Rice Paper Scrs staff shoot from the hip, they are hip when they shoot. It’s a great lunch place, roughly on the edge of Melbourne’s Chinatown, but the grub is more a fusion of east and west – and it is terrific.
We started with some tasty cocktails, and then moved onto a nice Melbourne riesling, to wash down a Thai Prawn roll (a brioche bun stuffed with poached prawn salad, makrut lime mayo, sriracha and yarra valley smoked salmon caviar); Mushroom Dumplings (local mushrooms, lemongrass and garlic. served in tom kha sauce and chilli oil); a massive Thai Fried Chicken (marinated in ginger, garlic, chilli and lemongrass. served with sriracha mayonnaise); Sticky Soy Tofu; and the highlight, a signature dish, BBQ Lamb Ribs (marinated lamb ribs in a sticky mekhong whiskey glaze, melting off the bones).
By the time our salad did not arrive, we didn’t need it. Diners are encouraged but not dragooned to share, and the dishes are good for that. Staff very friendly but we got there early, and they were under the pump from about 12.30 pm – the joint was chock full by then, with a queue outside. Well worth a visit (we recommend booking).