When meeting up with former Dubai friends (this time in Melbourne), we decided on a relatively casual approach to our evening — which involved rooftop bars, two failed attempts at out of the way/secret/small capacity bars, a drink (or three) in Southbank, and dinner in an alley. Melbourne is home to plenty of smaller streets which are maximized for their space — and one such example is Rice Paper Scissors, a smallish venue located on Liverpool Street. As we approached the slightly overwhelmed, but still funny host, he mentioned that wait times were close to an hour (or more). Deciding it was worth our time, we headed over to a nearby (and also recommended) Madame Brussels for cozy drinks (honestly, I’m super jealous at the number of options in the city).
Receiving a text (and five minutes to return to the restaurant), once inside RPS, we hopped onto bar stools at one of the many communal tables (the tables generally seat 6 people, unless you end up with one of the smaller tables outside). The menu is simple — choose 5 dishes for two people at AUD$65 (yes, that’s right — all kinds of value for money here). After minimal debate, we decided on the following: Steamed Pork Buns, Thai Ceviche, Sticky Pork Belly, Filipino BBQ Pork, and Thai Fried Chicken (no, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that of our five plates three of them included pork). Amid the bustling restaurant, food arrived quickly (and was devoured just as fast). While I thoroughly enjoyed each dish (and would happily order any of them again), the winner (and in contention for one of my favorite plates in June) was far and away the Steamed Pork Buns. I cannot stress how perfectly the buns were steamed — light and airy, soft as a doughy cloud, with the pork crispy and tender on the inside. A small amount of cucumber was all that was needed to finish this nearly perfect mouthful. They were so incredible that without shame, we happily ordered another batch.
Additionally, and worth mentioning — there’s an excellent selection of cocktails to match the experience above. With all the spicy Thai flavors, you’re going to need something to cool things down (and be sure to keep an eye on the specials).
Do I have any notes? Well, I would love to see the restaurant allow a bit more time for diners, but I understand that really, a group of four only needs about 75 minutes for the experience (and there are plenty of other people who want to dine).
Would I go back? Yes, and if you’re in the city, I highly recommend you making a trip to either of the RPS locations. Even if you have a bit of a wait, it’s going to be worth it.
Do you have a favorite rooftop bar in Melbourne? Any other smaller restaurant you’d like to recommend?