RICE PAPER VIETAMESE RESTAURANT
12th December 2011
245 Swanston Street
Melbourne, VIC 3000
Rice Paper Vietnamese Restaurant is a relative newcomer to the Swanston Street eating scene. Just like most of its neighbours, it serves a myriad of Asian dishes that have been westernised to differing degrees. Normally I wouldn’t be caught dead eating anywhere along Swanston Street (unless if it’s at DonDon), but a bright sheet of paper on the window boldly proclaiming a $5.8 Special lured us in.
|Surprisingly Nice Interior
The owners have clearly made an extra effort when it came to decor, in an attempt to differentiate itself from the restaurants nearby. Not only are there colourful lanterns and lily-shaped lights, but the walls are also lined with small pictures and mirrors all the way to the back of the long narrow space.
|Lemongrass Beef with Rice ($5.8 special)
The first special was the Lemongrass Beef with Rice ($5.8 special). A modest serving of beef slices were topped with shallots, served with a mound of rice and a small bowl of fish sauce. The beef looked dry but it was actually right the opposite. Although there wasn’t much of the tang of lemongrass, there was a steadily building heat from the pickled chillies. Luckily the spiciness of the beef was easily tamed by a dip into the fish sauce followed by a mouthful of fluffy jasmine rice.
|Chicken Curry with Rice ($5.8 special)
The other special was a Chicken Curry with Rice ($5.8 special). Unlike the beef, this was actually creamy and delicate, with tender chicken chunks floating in the broth. Sweetened by coconut milk and lemongrass, this curry surprised both of us with how not-bad it was.
I’m going to have to say that I wouldn’t pay the normal $9-ish for these dishes, as much better food can be had for a couple dollars more. But at just $5.80, it’s certainly a cut above the similar food served nearby for almost twice the price.
Rating: 12/20 – $5.80 special. all day, every day.
Cheapie Lunch (Under $15)