Kate reviews: Rice Paper Scissors weekend boxes — ‘big on flavour and big on value’
RICE PAPER SCISSORS
Hopefully this will be the last finish-at-home option we talk about for a while, because we’ll all be getting out and about and visiting venues across Melbourne, but it’s a great one to chat about and one that will continue to be an option for the foreseeable future – so you can still order it for a lazy weekend at home.
You probably already know Rice Paper Scissors as a great value Asian eatery, and the value extends to these heat-at-home meal options. We tried their “weekend” box, so called because you’ll get enough food to satiate you for a night, and you’ll also get breakfast to enjoy the next morning.
Basically, RPS charge $50 per person for five share items, and two separate breakfasts. We all know I can put it away, so yes, I did look at the packs when they arrived and wonder if it was enough food. Luckily, there was no question at the conclusion of dinner. These were great punchy flavours, easy to prepare, and more than enough for the two of us.
For your lunch or dinner, there are plenty of dishes to choose from, from cured fish or fresh salads, to fun buns and vegan curries. It’s actually a pretty hard choice.
We started with BBQ Lamb Ribs tossed in mekhong whiskey sauce. Warmed up in the oven and topped with Asian herbs, these are sticky, sweet and fabulously tender. Great little snack.
Next up, staying on the sticky theme, chunks of twice-cooked Sticky Pork Belly in a tamarind caramel sauce – I loved the spicy, zesty salad atop as much as the meat itself.
More substantial was the Thai BBQ Chicken, a large boned Maryland arrives marinated in soy, lemongrass and chilli. It’s been cooked sous vide already, so you’ll just need to whack it on the barbie to get the pre-requisite char marks. It’s served simply with cucumber slices and smokey, spicy Thai dipping sauce called “nahm jim jaew”.
I love Asian salads, and the Vietnamese Slaw from RPS was no exception. Thinly-sliced wombok, pickled carrot, herbs, roasted peanuts, red onion with Blood Orange and nuoc cham sauce – be warned, it is certainly authentic when it comes to spice – youchy!
The Thai Green Curry was somewhat of a surprise, given I didn’t realise I’d ordered it from the vegan menu – so no meaty protein, but gorgeous flavours and plenty of fresh coconut and winter vegetables.
We ordered some “artisan” roti as well, nice enough but a little steep at $8 for one slice (although that does include some satay sauce); and it’s worth trying the cocktails if you can stretch to them – the Black Walnut Old Fashioned was a cracker, a rich combination of Bacardi 8 Rum, pedro ximenez sherry, black walnut bitters,
cinnamon smoke, orange oil tincture.
And the breakfasts? Ross isn’t going to believe this, but I ordered pho, and I enjoyed it. Beef brisket, rich stock, fresh herbs and bean sprouts, and a healthy whack of spicy sriracha sauce. Simon went with the congee, AKA rice pudding, a savoury version with Ginger, lemongrass, chicken mince, poached egg, spring onion and crispy shallots – this was the definite breakfast winner.
At $14 per dish for the seven different dishes we ordered, this Weekend Box is big on flavour and big on value. If you can’t get a booking at your local, this is a fun, easy alternative to enjoy at home.