When it comes to the food and wine scene in Melbourne, it’s safe to say that we’re pretty damn spoilt.
From Chef-Hatted dining, to multicultural delights from around the globe and quirky bars hidden in bustling laneways, there is something for every foodie.
That was until mates Shane and Rahmie realised there was nowhere serving up their (and let’s be honest, our) dream combo of curated Asian feeds with the refined wines to match.
So naturally, their latest creation was born from merging a wine bar with drool-worthy South East Asian cuisine, giving birth to the gem that is Rice Paper Sister.
A casual yet distinguished dining experience that focuses just as much time and attention to their wine pairing as they do their cuisine. Get ready to start salivating.
Wine List For Days
First things first, these guys have a seriously impressive drinks list - it’s seven pages long to be exact. With over 50 wines and no plans to stop adding to the fam, no doubt making your selection will be even harder by the end of the year.
With everything from your trusty Semillon from Adelaide Hills to Arneis in the Mornington Peninsula, the wine list mostly reps Aussie wines, which we’re a big fan of. There’s also spirits as far as the eye can see (both on paper and at the bar) including Japanese whiskey, cognac, aperitifs and digestifs. Long story short, they’ll have your drink order sorted.
Compliment Or Contrast
Forget what you thought you knew about a typical wine pairing, because with South East Asian food, you can expect anything but typical.
Probably the greatest nugget of information we took away from this dining experience was that wine has one of two jobs, to compliment or contrast.
Starting with the raw tuna and black caviar with fried bread and the black sesame wafer with blue swimmer crab and crab roe (highly recommend), we were matched with a delightful glass of “Two in the Bush” Sauvignon Blanc Semillon from Adelaide Hills. Without getting too technical on you, we can safely say this vino effortlessly complimented the seafood, cutting right through that tasty fried bread and creamy mayo (oh, yeah).
Don’t Mess With The Flavours
With a menu loaded full of fresh seafood, it’s important to know when the wine should shut up and when the delicate flavours of the food should speak up.
Luckily the team at Rice Paper Sister know exactly what’s up when it comes to delicate wines so we didn’t have to close our eyes and point to the list like we normally do (phew).
Take the Kingfish Special as a prime example. We’re talking in season kingfish teamed with fresh passionfruit, yuzu and white soy. It’s simple, it’s fresh and it’s insanely delicious. To let the kingfish dance on its own it’s been paired with the Moore’s Hill Riesling from Tamar Valley. Match. Made. In. Heaven.
Wine Is Just The Beginning
If you thought it was only wine that can be matched with a meal, think again.
These guys love a challenge and if wine isn’t your thing, they’ll gladly whip you up a perfectly paired cocktail. They even created their very own coconut fat wash whiskey to pair with their dishes. Starting with freshly toasted coconut, they make their own syrup, refrigerate it, then extract the solidified coconut butter from the top, render the butter, mix it with whiskey, then filter it through cheese cloths.
One thing’s for sure, these guys will go a long way to serve up the perfect drink, and we’re forever grateful.
Image credit: Jess Prince
Editor’s note: This article is sponsored by Rice Paper Sister and proudly endorsed by The Urban List. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who make The Urban List possible. Click here for more information on our editorial policy.