Red Spice Road

March 3, 2012 at 12:11 am (Chinese, Malaysian, Melbourne CBD, Thai, Victoria) ()

The Melbourne Food and Wine Festival has started again for another year and our first outing this time round was to Red Spice Road.

Red Spice Road - all about sharing

We opted for a lunch banquet, consisting of one appetiser, three main courses to share, dessert and a glass of wine for $35 a head.  I was very glad to see the much-talked-about pork belly on the menu.

The appetiser of betel leaf, topped with smoked chicken, mint, chilli and coriander did exactly what it was meant to do.  The flavour-packed parcels of sweet, spicy, tangy chicken had us eagerly anticipating the next dishes.

Betel leaf topped with smoked chicken, mint, chilli and coriander

The first main course was a prawn, coconut, pomelo, snake bean and coriander salad.   Nice dressing but nothing extraordinary.  I was a little disappointed that the prawns had that soaked-in-bicarb texture that should not be seen outside of cheap Chinese restaurants.

Prawn, coconut, pomelo, snake bean and coriander salad

Chicken, fried with black pepper, holy basil and cashews, came next.  The tender chicken pieces were served with lots of peppery sauce that was a little bit starchy but made for a good accompaniment for rice.

Chicken, fried with black pepper, holy basil and cashews

The final main course was the pork belly with apple slaw, chilli caramel and black vinegar, which was absolutely the hero of the menu.  Massive chunks of melt-in-the-mouth, crispy fried pork in a sweet and spicy syrup topped with a fresh salad; most definitely the best pork belly I’ve ever had.

Pork belly with apple slaw, chilli caramel and black vinegar

It’s hard to imagine how we managed to eat any more after this, but it was not difficult to finish the dessert of passionfruit cream with peanut praline, puffed rice and coconut ice cream.

Passionfruit cream with peanut praline, puffed rice and coconut ice cream

Overall, our meal at Red Spice Road was incredible value for money.  In general, I would prefer Longrain, Gingerboy or Chin Chin for South East Asian food but the pork belly is enough to encourage a repeat visit.  It’s a beautifully decorated restaurant with a great atmosphere if you’re planning a night out with friends.   The wait staff are polite, efficient and were more than happy to help us keep to our schedules.  So make a group booking, try the pork belly and leave room for dessert!
 
Red Spice Road on Urbanspoon
 

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