If you’ve ever been or heard of Red Spice Road, it’s a good bet you’ve also heard of their signature dish – their pork belly. I had this on my first visit to the McKillop St venue last year and was blown away by how lovely it was – deep fried and topped with greens. Their lamb ribs had also left quite an impression – at that time they were deep fried and served with a tangy fish sauce. This time round, we chose to go to the QV Red Spice Road – I had been before but left with the feeling that it was not quite as good as the McKillop St branch.
A warning to future customers – if you don’t like herbs such as coriander, basil etc, it’s probably best not to go to Red Spice Road – their dishes are all made for sharing so even if you tried to order plates without these herbs, your selection would be rather limited!
This time, with a group of four, we didn’t order the pork belly. Instead, we had lamb ribs, duck hor fun noodles with their kingfish salad.
Their lamb ribs were markedly different to the one I remembered – they were chargrilled and served with avocado and nam jim. Lovely and probably a healthier alternative to the previous deep fried version (though they were so good….).
Their duck hor fun noodles with chinese brocolli and red pepper, whilst filling, wasn’t anything too special I found.
The kingfish salad was lovely – It was served with green tomatoes, sawtooth and chinese celery. The salad dressing was rather strong and ended up having a curing effect on the chunks of kingfish.
As a smaller plate we ordered their drunken chicken ribs expecting a cold dish with lovely smooth chicken. What we got was a dish that resembled their former lamb ribs much to our surprise (an albeit pleasant one). Crunchy and moist chicken ribs served with a tamarind sauce – when ordering this dish it’s probably best to eat it first.
We had all this served with rice and washed down with a mocktail – they were able to serve us their “Red Dragon” which is a concoction of blood oranges, raspberries and lemon juice in a jug which was a lot cheaper than ordering individually. It was pleasantly sour and a refreshing contrast to the herbs and chilli kick from the food.
For dessert, we ordered the panna cotta with watermelon granita which looked quite similar to a panna cotta served at Mr Hives. Lovely soft panna cotta (shame they didn’t say what flavour it was – was rather subtle so could have been vanilla) served in a bodum glass accompanied by sesame shortbread. Not too sweet which was nice.
We also ordered their ice cream and sorbets at the risk of being served rather generic flavours (none was listed on the men). The flavours we were served were quite nice although I would’n't have thought mint chocolate would be there. The other flavours were guava, coconut and watermelon.
Overall we had a lovely time – I do wish we had ordered the pork belly but I guess there’s always next time! One thing to mention although perhaps it might have just been that day - it was rather chilly on the night we went and I don’t think the restaurant staff noticed most of their customers were rather cold and left their jackets on for the meal. Made us think twice about icy desserts like granita and ice creams!
We were able to use the entertainment book for our dinner which took ~$40 off the total of $180.