Believe it or not, Port Adelaide is tipped to be one of the next boom suburbs within the next few years, especially with talk that the trams may head down that direction. Some savvy business owners have taken note of this, and we’re starting to see some cool new cafes open in the historic suburb. One of these businesses is Rice Cafe which offers a selection of modern Asian dishes created by Chef Kim. Keen to know more, we headed down to the Port to check out some of whats on offer.
Pan-Fried Chicken Dumplings
The dumplings come in a serving of six and you have the option of having them pan-fried or served in a broth. I opted for the pan-fried which are fried to a light golden brown on the flat side of the dumplings. The dumplings themselves are encased in a firm skin with the inside revealing a well seasoned filling consisting of minced chicken and vegetables. Tasty on their own or a bit more exciting with mild chilli shrimp oil.
Buttermilk Fried Chicken
Did someone say fried chicken? You really can’t go wrong with fried chicken, and this was no exception. The morsels of chicken were generously portioned, as was the serving itself. The coating was crispy and crunchy, and fried to a beautiful golden brown. The chicken itself was tender and succulent, and the execution was bang on. The chicken was served with a sriracha miso mayo which added a nice kick to the dish.
Salt and Pepper Squid
This was one of the best salt and pepper squid dishes I’ve ever had. Again, the portions of squid were very generous. The squid was lightly battered and cooked to perfection. I’ve never had squid so soft and delicate! It was accompanied with a tangy green chilli sauce which took the dish to the next level.
With this cold weather, you really can’t go wrong with a steaming hot beef noodle soup. With beef, chicken or a combination thereof, I went for the classic Beef Fillet and Beef Balls (Pho Bo). Accompanying the bowl were all the trimmings which included bean sprouts, fresh herbs, lime, hoi sin and sriracha sauces. The broth was light and beefy with a distinct flavour of star anise. The rice noodles were perfectly cooked with a satisfying amount of raw beef slices and beef balls.
Roast Pork Belly Rice Bowl
The rice bowl is Chef Kim’s take on the Korean bibimbap. With steamed jasmine rice, acar vegetable relish, kimchi, fried enoki mushrooms, fried egg and your choice of protein, you mix it all up to create a delicious taste sensation. I went for their roast pork belly, which was tasty in itself; perfect crackling on a relatively lean cut of well seasoned pork belly. I really liked the contrast in textures of this dish. The sweetness of the relish, the sour and spicy notes of the kimchi, and the crunchiness of the enoki and pork belly, made this dish work.
One of my favourite dishes of the day was the Mi Goreng. A classic Asian stir fry made up of Hokkien egg noodles, Asian greens, seasonal vegetables and topped with a fried egg, fresh herbs and crispy shallots. What really took the dish to the next level was the delicious sticky soy and sriracha sauce that all the ingredients were smothered in. It was like a flavour explosion in your mouth that made you keep on going back for more.
With the talented Chef Kim running the kitchen, things are looking good for this modern Asian eatery. Apart from the delicious classic Asian dishes on offer, the service is efficient and the staff are super friendly. Perfect for those who are in the area!
Rice Cafe is open Monday to Thursday 7am-3pm, Friday 7am-9pm and Saturday 5:30pm-9pm.
WHERE: 1/13 College St, Port Adelaide