PROFILED BY DE GROOTS MEDIA
Upon arrival at Rice, there’s not a Chinese lantern in sight. Refined design and taste (both in decor and dishes) is apparent: sleek ruby red and black tables meet warm saffron walls. Prosperity is welcomed with the obligatory bamboo plant and paw-waving golden cat. Neither is necessary, as Rice was destined for success. Brothers Michael, Jeffrey and Bo Li were trained in the kitchen by their uncle, and word of mouth has brought many a hungry tummy to their door, seeking the Li’s authentic Cantonese cooking. They don’t disappoint, executing dishes with inherited skills and imaginative flair.
Shredded roast duck soup has the bird swimming in a thick, rich broth of cloud ear fungus and fresh bamboo shoots. Or, a more refreshing poultry dish is the cold salad of shredded chicken with jellyfish, celery, spring onion and coriander. Cheese is a rarity on Chinese menus so explore the “Basil Cheese Beef” tossed with onion, basil and chilli soybean paste, served with melted cheese on a sizzling platter. Fillets of crocodile are pan-fried and cooked in a creamy black pepper sauce, while seafood specials boast lobster, mud-crab, eel, flounder and the coveted parrotfish. Double-roasted honey spare ribs will make you want to suck the bones dry; and salted chicken fried rice is done the proper way with Chinese anchovies and strips of lettuce stir-fried with egg, ginger and spring onion. Finish with a Chinese pancake pocketed with sweet, pan-fried red bean custard.