I've been saying it for months, and at risk of sounding like a broken record, I'm going to say it again. Subiaco is on the ups! With restaurants, cafes and bars opening like crazy in 2016, Subi is finally getting a little life back and the latest spot to join the party is Rice Baby.
Owned by the same clever cookies who opened Miss Chow's in Claremont, the modern Chinese food is similarly fresh and delicious but the vibe feels totally different.
Located in the building that was once The Oriel and then Subi Doo, the space is huge and I have to admit that I often worried about how the next owners were going to fill it when Subi Doo closed. But the team at Rice Baby have made it look better than ever. I was instantly happy when I walked in to see that massive venue had been divided into different areas with accents like bamboo and copper wiring to separate the areas. It felt cosy, modern, inviting and busy all at the same time.
The menu is huge and you'll want to order pretty much everything on it, and to be honest, you probably should. But before you do, you NEED to try the qi-huahua cocktail. It's not too sweet and perfectly refreshing and the dash of sesame oil seriously elevates the flavour. The zestful zen was also delish and if you're into bubble tea you'll want to order the sex and the city stat.
Now on to the important stuff. I'm going to make a really big call here, but I think the Shanghainese dumplings here (you know, the dumplings filled with soup) might be my favourite dumplings in Perth, and I've eaten a lot of dumplings lately. They were so fresh and full of flavour and they didn't burn the roof of my mouth, which is always a win with Shanghainese dumplings.
The pan fried dumplings are also amazing and I have plans to try every single flavour on the menu before the year is out. The roast duck bao is a DIY situation and one of the tastiest I have had in a while, small but full of flavour, I could have eaten all four myself. The turmeric baked barramundi was also amazing, bursting with flavour, and cooked to perfection. The braised Chinese cabbage was much more exciting that it sounds, sitting in a delicious garlicky broth topped with goji berries, this is cabbage done right!
In a rare moment where my willpower surged I skipped dessert, but I was lucky enough to try the steamed marble buns a couple of months ago at Miss Chow's and they are the stuff dreams are made of, and I hear even better things about the matcha lava cake!
Want to know the location, opening hours and all the details? Find Rice Baby in the directory.
Image credit: Nancy Hanna