Red Spice Road
31-37 Artemis Lane QV
+61 3 8660 6300
Having foodie friends is great. There’s never a lack of opportunity to try a new restaurant or simply get together for a massive feed. The only trouble is getting a date that suits everyone so our get together was keyed in 2-3 months in advance. It included Adrian, Ashley and partner Brad, Fakebooo, I-Hua and hubby Aaron, and Winston. Our plan was to get stuffed on the lunch banquet at Red Spice Road.
Red Spice Road has been around for a while, with the first restaurant on MacKillop Street. A new branch opened in late 2012 in QV, and it features a lunch banquet of 3 courses for $25, or 5 courses for $30. Cookie Monster had tried the banquet some time ago, and she was rather impressed by the quality and portions of the food. The mock-meat dishes (she’s a pescatarian) tasted like the real deal.
Red Spice Road (QV) occupies a bright large space. Although the menu features Asian food with a fusion twist, the décor is extremely westernized. A bar greets you right at the entrance and the furniture of pale tan wood is quite Scandinavian, all in rectangular arrangements.
It was pretty much unanimous that we would be ordering the larger banquet. The more the merrier right?
Our appetizer of duck broth was a touch on the salty side, tasting quite similar to a watered-down version of braised black sauce duck. It did have a lot of flavour, and certainly readied our palate for what was to come.
The rest of the dishes arrived simultaneously. It was amusing when everyone started standing up and moving about to capture a perfect shot of each dish. It was like musical chairs with food.
Most of the dishes were very good. I-Hua waxed lyrical about the pork belly and she certainly had every right. It was caramelized to perfection with every ounce of fatty pork belly falling apart in the mouth. I loved how it was served with the black vinegar on the side. I used a lot of it, but in a good way. I love black vinegar.
The beef curry was rich and slightly on the sweet side. I liked that eggplant was included.
The fish was crisp with the bokchoy and bamboo shoots adding to the crunch.
The other remaining 2 dishes of the lunch banquet didn’t quite stand out. The laap was pretty tasty but the pumpkin was a deterrent for me. I hate pumpkin.
The rice fritters were downright odd. They were shaped into little spheres and reminded me of mini Asian arancini. The fact that the banquet included steamed Jasmine rice made it even more questionable: who eats rice with rice?
The extra dish of lamb ribs was the allure of dining at Red Spice Rd. Adrian and Winston specifically requested that this dish be ordered as it is not included in the banquet menu. Although it was not the exact same dish from MacKillop (that comes with chilli jam), the QV version was pretty darn good. The meat fell off the bone and the unusual topping of avocado and lychee worked harmoniously with the cumin marinade.
Everyone was close to bursting by the end of the meal. Most of the dishes were pretty tasty and all of it came in generous serves. Having the lunch banquet was certainly a delicious and cost-effective way to test the waters of Red Spice Road. I reckon I might visit the MacKillop branch in future and get me a side of ribs with chilli jam.