Operating for more than 11 years Red Spice Road is the unofficial home of Melbourne’s best pork belly and is renowned for delivering high quality South East Asian cuisine to Melbourne. It is a vibrant venue where Asia meets the world via creative and fresh taste sensations delivered in a melting pot of different flavours and cultures.
The vast dining room boast a modern flair that retains a warm and relaxed vibe. The versatile dining room combines both communal shared tables and more private, intimate spaces closer to the bar.
The restaurant has recently announced the arrival of new Executive Chef, Ben McRae, who brings his fresh and vibrant take on pan-Asian food. McRae brings 20 years’ experience to the kitchen from a diverse background in some of the world’s finest dining institutions including extensive authentic experience in Asia combined with international 5-star dining, to the table. A match made in heaven.
To accompany the delicious menu is a well curated but extensive wine list spanning the best Australia and the rest of the world have to offer. If you feel like treating yourself consider ordering a bottle from cheekily titled “Boss’ secret stash” section of the wine list.
We loved tasting our way through the new Showcase Menu where we took a dive into Asia’s diverse food choices.
To start the betel leaf, roasted red snapper, jackfruit, lemongrass and dried coconut exploded with a multitude of intense flavours and was highlighted by the beautifully fresh red snapper and the aroma of the dried coconut.
The BBQ pork belly baos, continued to please. The fluffy white bao buns were the perfect canvas for the tender flavour-laden salt roasted pork, hoisin, pickle and mustard.
The next part of the meal was a triumph for seafood lovers. A dish of Kingfish, coriander, pickled garlic, chilli, shallots and crispy wonton followed - masterfully prepared to showcase the delicate texture of the kingfish. Grilled scallops were similarly delicious and served with lup cheong for just a touch of salinity and sweetness as well as cucumber, green chilli and shiso for texture and punch. Red Spice Road also offered up a commendable rendition of the traditional Salt and pepper calamari served with chilli, crispy garlic and green onion which boasted crispy and ethereally light batter.
For mains rolled rice noodles with torn lamb shoulder, coriander, chilli, green pepper and Sichuan flavours was beautiful as was the Northern Thai chicken curry which went perfectly with fluffy steamed rice.
A visit to Red Spice Road, would of course be incomplete without its signature pork belly. Red Spice Road’s iteration of this South-East Asian dish was sublime. The large nuggets of moist pork belly, which contained the perfect amount of unctuous fat, were encased in a crisp outer crust imbibed with sweet chilli caramel sauce. Each bite truly gratified the palate in both texture and taste. We simply could not fault this dish. Consistently well executed, this dish is a must try!
Dessert time showcased McCrae’s versatility. The Guava cheesecake was simply a stunning conclusion to a wonderful meal. Think creamy guava flavoured cheesecake served with melt in your mouth apple jelly, crunchy honeycomb, wonderfully tart kalamansi and plum meringue. Just yum!
Red Spice Road is a longstanding Melbourne favourite and continues to deliver high quality Asian hawker inspired cuisine. Now at the pass, Ben McRae is charged with the responsibility of maintaining its esteemed reputation. The current menu surprises and delights and looks to secure the restaurant’s place in the upper echelon of Melbourne’s culinary institutions.
Location: 27 McKillop Street, Melbourne
Phone: (03) 9603 1601