I made a spontaneous decision to go to Melbourne so I started to research which restaurants to go to. After I arrived, I found Rice Paper Scissors.
Rice Paper Scissors is a restaurant that embraces much-loved Asian street food. This place is not completely vegan but offers a great vegan menu.
There are two restaurants, one in the CBD and another in Fitzroy – Melbourne’s vegan capital. I was staying in the CBD so I was about to book a table at their CBD restaurant, but I found out about their Fitzroy location’s Vega-station, a 10-course vegan degustation which cost $45 (such a bargain!). The event happens once a month (only at Fitzroy) and it was luckily on the day after I arrived (it was meant to be)!
I got so so excited about my luck – being in Melbourne when a special monthly vegan degustation happens, so I rushed to book online (they only take online bookings) and realised it was FULLY BOOKED – damn!
But I did not stop here. Being overly keen, I emailed to ask if there were any last minute cancellations and that I would be happy to come as soon as the restaurant opened at 11:30am – which was not peak time. As it was a Saturday morning, I thought that not so many people would want to eat a 10-course vegan degustation so early in the morning, right?
As I guessed, I got a phone call the same day saying we can join the degustation from 11:30am – just before we are flying back to Sydney.
YAY! Lesson learnt: never give up on your dreams. Haha.
Now to what we enjoyed:
When we arrived, we were greeted by very friendly staff. My hubby ordered Vietnamese iced tea, which is flavoured with lemongrass – sugarless and very refreshing. I stuck with no drinks while I ate – did you know drinks dilute your digestive enzymes, making it harder to digest your meal?
We started with this cute looking dish:
MA HOR:Caramelised tofu and peanuts on Pineapple
MA HOR is a popular Thai appetizer and listed regularly on vegan menus but it is normally cooked with caramelised five-spiced. I am not a big fan of five spice so I was happy with this special version of MA HOR.
Next up… salad!
BURMESE TEA LEAF SALAD – a national dish in Burma
This is one of my favourite dishes!
It is made from fermented tea leaf, heirloom tomatoes, wombok, and roast garlic dressing. For crunchiness, it includes crispy soybeans, mung beans and peanuts. This rendition was very nice. I didn’t feel like I was eating tea leaves at all (in a good way). I think this is ultimate healthy food – fermented tea leaves, raw veggies and healthy sources of fat and protein. My gut is definitely very happy! This dish is available anytime at Rice Paper Scissors too!
This is my second time enjoying tea leaves. The first time was at a tea leaf field in Taiwan – I think I ate tea leaf fried rice but this salad is definitely a winner in the tea-leaf-flavoured-food category.
Cambodian capsicum salad
It doesn’t look spicy at all, but it was definitely spicy – the chopped chilli was hidden (they tricked me haha!). The dish was prepared using bean sprout, mint, onion and creamy sesame dressing and was very moreish.
Char grilled tofu satay
This pressed tofu dish has a very interesting texture. I could not describe it… somewhat of a soft yet firm texture but still, it was really nice. It had a gorgeous char-grilled aroma and flavour. This was one of my favourites!
Char grilled baby carrot with coconut cream and spiced cashew
I recently had a terrible baby carrot dish in Sydney and was so happy to have this delicious one to make up for it! I must admit, carrot is not my favourite veggie but they were nicely cooked (I just love char grilled food!), served with a creamy sauce. I am not a big fan of coconut cream (yes, I am a bit of a picky eater) but this coconut cream sauce was not too “coconutty” which is great. The crunchy spiced nuts made this dish even greater!
Carrot and mushroom steamed bun on a bed of Sichuan pickles
Who doesn’t like steamed buns? I for one love them! I found this dish creative because it was my first time seeing the bun served on pickles, which by the way was a very generous amount.
Sri Lankan beetroot curry
Another exotic dish. It was my very first time trying beetroot curry. I don’t like cooked beetroot (another picky eating habit of mine revealed, however I do love raw beetroot!). However, this curry was nice. I wouldn’t order it again but I was happy to try out a new and unique curry. Served with a really generous amount of crispy and pungent curry leaves, rice and crunchy fried onions; the mixture of yummy crunchiness and slightly-sweet curry was a great combination.
Wok tossed veggies with wild ginger and pepper corn
This was my least favourite dish. Maybe it was the wrong time to eat it because it felt more like a side dish but it came very last when we were getting really full. I wish it wasn’t served by itself. If it was served with the steam bun and the strong flavoured pickles or the curry, it would have been tastier.
Black rice pudding with winter fruit
Nothing fancy but my hubby adores this – he ate most of the pudding, which made me happy as I was already very full. The flavour wasn’t too sweet which was great!
Lemon grass poached pear with coconuts and macadamia ice cream
Yum… such a nice ice cream! I really like that they served this kind of ice cream – not your usual, boring plain sorbet as the vegan option at restaurants.
Overall – this was amazing value. The 10-course meal provided the healthiest, most fibre rich vegan degustation I have ever had. I am so glad to see my hubby eating so many veggies – seriously, LOTS of veggies, and no fake meat or anything. Pure, real whole foods!
The portion sizes were really huge. It was nothing fancy and crazily sophisticated like the vegan degustation we had at Ezard the day before (they do need to make a nicer dessert though). It was however a very interesting menu, which celebrated the beauty of veggies, something I really appreciated.
My hubby and I can handle spice but I am sure some can’t handle all the heat that some of the dishes included, so this is something to be wary of.
This was also a winter menu, but if I am in Melbourne during a different season, I would love to go back! I highly recommend this place – great food, value, staff and vibe. Sometimes I forget….. Melbourne vegan food and service is of quite a high standard, something which makes it a great place to visit for vegetarians, vegans or people wanting to eat more plant-based.
I shall have to go to Melbourne more often.
Hope you enjoyed,
Rice paper scissors
VEGA-STATION – vegan only degustation page ( only at Fitzroy in Melbourne)
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