I’m really excited about this post, because this little place is somewhere I visit often once Uni starts, however it doesn’t have the best reviews on Urbanspoon.
I first visited here when it first opened, after trying their soft shelled crab noodle soup I was hooked by the value. For 10.90 you got 2 whole fried soft shell crabs in a flavoursome seafood broth. Disappointingly, over time this dish has decreased in value and now looks rather shabby. However, I soon discovered that Rice Paper had more to offer.
Their rice dishes are on the small side so if you are a guy or girl who eats a lot, give it a miss. Their pho is rather small and filled with MSG, so give that a miss too. Hang on, you say, I thought you said they were good. Yes, they are good! You just have to know what to order and for me the grilled pork/chicken with vermicelli never fails to please.
We went on a rather hot day, so we started with some cool drinks.
I love watching the white coffee transforming from this to this…
The filtered coffee has a very strong, robust flavour. The condensed milk not only offers the coffee sweetness, but also adds nuttiness to the drink. I favour this version over any other, because it isn’t sickeningly sweet, which makes it perfect for keeping you cool and awake during the summer months.
However, I didn’t feel like coffee that day, so I opted for the coconut water. My boyfriend reckons fresh coconut water just tastes like diluted milk. I can see where he’s coming from, but I disagree and soon I was slurping away at my refreshing drink.
He went for the pork and I went for the chicken that day. Since I’ve ordered this dish countless times before, I’m going to comment on his dish as well. Your bowl comes with vermicelli topped with lettuce, shredded carrots and cucumber as well as the pork of course. The pork is juicy and chewy, soaked in a tantalising sweet marinade with nuances of lemongrass coming through with each bite. Once you mix it all through with some of the chili fish sauce dressing, you have yourself a well-balanced lunch.
The chicken is much the same as the pork, except with a different protein. Even though the flavours are much the same, but changing the protein changes the whole profile of the dish. Instead of the chewiness of the pork, you get the sweet, sticky, gelatinous texture of chicken skin which has been grilled to perfection. Breaking the skin with your teeth reveals tender, juicy flesh. I will say that this dish isn’t as easy to eat, because the chicken isn’t cut up completely into strips. You have to awkwardly cut it up yourself with chopsticks and a spoon.
I always feel satisfied and happy from being well-fed after coming out of Rice Paper. Also, the owner is always extremely nice and friendly, I bet his smile can light up any rainy day.