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Kate reviews: Rice Paper Sister

Kate Stevenson
Article image for Kate reviews: Rice Paper Sister

Rice Paper Sister

15 Hardware Lane, CBD

Click PLAY below to hear Kate’s review on 3AW Breakfast

There is a lot to like about Rice Paper Sister.

Its location – in buzzing Hardware Lane, an essentially “Melbourne” spot. With big windows looking out on the street, it’ll be glorious when the sun finally shines onto the street.

The menu – this could be a positive or a negative, in that I wanted to order everything and with only two of us, I couldn’t possibly. We didn’t even get to the large dishes.

The prices – even the larger share dishes aren’t priced over $22, the more people you head along with, the better value I reckon you’ll get and the more you’ll be able to try.

So … what did we eat? From the small plates, large black sesame wafers artistically draped with fresh swimmer crab, crab roe mayo and house-made tapioca black caviar – crispy, fishy, a definitely spicy. Great textures and flavours.

Speaking of spicy, the isaan style kangaroo tartare was just that, possibly to its detriment – the flavours were bold, but I guess with tartare I do like the primitive taste of that meat, and it was hard to make out here.

There were a couple of fun sounding bun options from the medium plates, we had to pass up the wagyu beef with burns coconut sauce on grilled milk bread for fear of filling up, and instead devoured the tempura lobster roll – loved that this was paired with a more unusual accompaniment of chrysanthemum leaves, nori mayo and mustard pickles. The light crisp tempura batter lovely within the super soft bun.

Jumbo Clarence River prawns were meaty and surprisingly easy to eat, the body peeled, and the Jimbaran spiced butter perfectly complimenting the rich flesh – coriander root, garlic, ginger, spices. I loved these.

Finally, Rice Paper Sister’s take on duck pancakes – twice cooked leg, easily shredded with a couple of forks, ready to DIY with soft pancakes, pickled cucumber, spring onion, and a fabulous home-made mandarin jam. Plenty of meat for the six pancakes that arrived.

Bonus points for two terrific cocktails – both fabulously fresh, a “Yo, That’s Whack-uiri” boasting fresh cardamom and kaffir lime; and the “El Chaperol” a punchy chilli infused aperol with passionfruit and lemongrass infused gin.

There was nothing to complain about here. Service was super friendly, the dishes came out at a perfect pace and they tasted great. As the weather warms up, this is going to be a perfect place to spend a sunny arvo or a balmy Melbourne evening.

Kate Stevenson