Sunday, December 11, 2011

Red Spice Road

Location: 27 McKillop Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000
Phone: (03) 9603 1601
Cuisine: Asian, Thai, Fusion

Every time I see or hear the words 'pork belly', I immediately think of Red Spice Road. Which is why it is a bit surprising that it's taken me this long to get around to putting up this review. Unfortunately this feasting episode took place well over a year ago (Easter 2010), but the memories of the pork belly still set the standard for pork belly everywhere I go.

Red Spice Road is hidden away in another CBD laneway, off the corner of Bourke and Queen Streets. The atmosphere inside is sophisticated but casual at the same time - particularly since the seating is mostly communal. Get in early or book to snap up a collection of seats if you have a large group.

I'll start with the pork belly, but the rest are all a distant memory, and I won't be doing them justice if I try to comment.

pork belly with chilli caramel, black vinegar, cabbage, mint

Hands down the best pork belly ever. Nice crisp crackling, soft tender pork meat, and an amazing concoction of sticky caramel, spicy chilli and sour black vinegar just topped it all off. The cabbage and mint  worked well with the vinegar and provided a nice refreshing contrast to the heat and stickiness of the meat.

betel leaf with salmon, lemongrass, chilli and Kaffir lime
prawns filled with spicy pork
wild barramundi, sugar peas, baby corn, spicy coconut, lemongrass

minced wagyu beef stir fried with thick rice noodles in black pepper sauce

Service was pleasant, our waiter in particular was friendly and helpful. What was disappointing at the end of the meal was the fact that the waiters didn't bring back the change and simply assumed that it was an automatic tip. We waited 10 minutes to see if they would bring back the change, and in the end, gave up and asked for it on the way out. Rather than apologizing, they begrudgingly handed back the $3.

Ironically, we had enjoyed the meal and the service had been really good and would have tipped the change - had they brought it back. The fact that they were annoyed at having to hand back their assumed tip was a bit of a spoiler for an otherwise wonderful night.

Overall Impression: 9/10
Red Spice Road on Urbanspoon


Feaster said...

Best pork belly ever? What about meat and wine co?

jenster said...

I think RSR still beats Meat & Wine Co. But only just.