Red Spice Road

Red Spice Road
27 McKillop Street
Melbourne  VIC  3000
03 9603 1601
Website

How do they do it for the price?

The lunch special at Red Spice Road is ridiculously good value.  When you order the Mon-Fri Lunch banquet you get a mountain of food for a measly $25 per person.  It’s hard to beat – especially with food this good, this fresh and this tasty!

Betel Leaf with Chicken, Chilli, Lemongrass and Coriander

You start off with a beautifully moist and fragrant mouthful of chicken, chilli, lemongrass and coriander served on a gloriously fresh betel leaf.  Just delicious!

Barramundi, watermelon and mint salad

This barramundi salad is amazing – fresh pieces of barramundi have been floured and deep fried quickly and then tossed through a beautifully fragrant salad of watermelon, cucumber, mint, coriander, vietnamese mint, and red onion.  It tastes fresh and vibrant in the mouth – just gorgeous.

Chicken Larb with coriander and thai basil

Another fresh dish with moist chicken mince that has been seasoned with chilli and lime juice, red onion, coriander, mint and basil frolic throughout – and each mouthful results in a party in your mouth.  The ground, roasted rice on top adds a great textural crunch.

Pork Belly with Chilli Caramel, Black Vinegar and Apple, Cabbage, Mint Salad

Arguably (actually – there’s no argument – it just is), Red Spice Road’s signature dish – and the reason I keep coming back.  This pork belly is one of the best in Melbourne – double cooked, the layers of fat are close to melting point, the meat is tender and rich, and the outside has been fried to a golden, crunchy goodness.  All this and it’s doused in this amazing chilli caramel – which just makes your mouth water thinking about it!  It’s soooo bad, but sooooo good!!  The richness of this dish is complemented by the wonderful fresh salad of cabbage, apple and mint – and you’re provided with some black vinegar to provide further acidity to cut through all that juicy goodness.

You see what I mean??!!   An appetiser and three fantastic dishes, served with steamed jasmine rice – at $25 per head, that’s great value!

Ultimately, Red Spice Road is a fantastic success story in Melbourne.  It is a huge venue, with lots of hard surfaces – so be prepared to yell a lot.  The service can be a bit patchy (and if you’re there for the early dinner service – be warned, they’re terribly inflexible about ordering from the after 6pm menu (so McDonalds!)) – but the food is good.  John McLean, Head Chef, keeps the old favourites, but occassionally mixes it up with some new dishes.  I think the menu has changed since I’ve visitied… so it might be worth another lunch time special… Just go!  It rarely disappoints.

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