Rice Baby, as the names suggests is an Asian themed restaurant, the food a mix of Chinese and Malay – with an emphasis on dumplings, but myriad other choices.
We dropped in for lunch mid-week sitting inside rather than in the al fresco area and with a bottle of French rosé, settled in to await our food. Knowing from previous visits that the servings are of a good size we ordered one starter and one main, along with rice, between the two of us, and it proved just enough for a very satisfying lunch.
First off the rank, spicy prawn wontons -the dumplings were glossy and gelatinous, the prawns juicy and sweet – swimming in a spicy Szechuan broth, nice chilli zip, and a fine beginning.
Our main – Tamarind Sambal Prawns was even more impressive – a large bowl with a good number of plump, juicy, sweet fleshed prawns cooked with their tails in a spicy sour Assam style broth with the characteristic blachan flavours pimping up the sambal – red chilli and capsicum pieces provided the vegetable component. The spice level was just right, nice and zesty and to ensure that we asked for sliced chilli on the side- but it was fine without the extra although they did not go astray. This was a very good dish, indeed; the blend of spice and sourness was spot on from our point of view.
Our wine matched the food to a tee – strawberries and spice on the nose, and a crisp, dry palate of pomegranate and raspberries.
For a mid-week lunch, Rice Baby seemed to attract a good sized crowd – the lunch specials which seemed very good one plate dishes probably helped – however the menu as a whole has a lot to appeal – well put together dishes, substantial serves, and very good value. A lot to like about Rice Baby.