The Rice Den, where Asian cuisine meets Pulp Fiction. Food with a bang and an interior to match!
On Wednesday, I had the pleasure of checking out The Rice Den, one of the trendiest Asian joints I have ever experienced – and one of the tastiest and flavoursome Asian meals I’ve ever had. The Rice Den brings some serious freshness and vitality to dining options to Chatswood, a suburb located just north of the Harbour Bridge.
When you walk in to The Rice Den, you notice straight away the really quirky interiors, made up of wooden beaming, angled mirrors, and dark wooden furniture. Despite being in a smaller space, the restaurant feels so much bigger and gives off a really cool vibe. Look out for the kitsch prints on the counter – especially the army kitty!
So after looking at the menu, we soon realised that nearly every single entrée is under $10 and nearly every main under $20 – so you’re pretty much looking at a $30 meal! There is no specific branch of Asian that The Rice Den offer. With a blend of Chinese, Thai, Malaysian and Japanese fused with Western influences, you’ll definitely find something to get your chopsticks into.
Pete, Mark and myself were incredibly hungry and ordered the following:
- Sate chicken sticks – $8
- Duck pancakes – $8
- Honey soy winglets – $6
- Angus steak with black bean chilli – $22
- Lamb cutlets – $18
- Nasi Goreng – $12
AND… after much debate, and a push from the waitress we ordered..
- Deep fried chilli basil crocodile! – $17
When each dish came out, the first thing I noticed were the burst of colours and the crazy delicious smells. You could tell the vegetables were fresh – they were super crunchy and so vibrant. The taste – wow! They don’t hold back on the chilli, so if you’re a spice lover, then this place is one for you (you can mild them down of course!). My favourite was definitely the Honey soy winglets. The meat was super tender and the sauce had just enough of a sweetness. I also highly recommend the Chilli basil crocodile! Yes! The crocodile! Now, this was a first for me and I was a little apprehensive about eating a reptile (see pics for photographic evidence that we all tried it!) and after a big debate with the boys and a final push from our lovely waitress, it was ordered. Much to my surprise, it was really tasty! Think chicken crossed with calamari perhaps? And as a little tip, our waitress recommended if you are game enough to give the croc a go, ask for it deep fried rather stir fried first go.
We had a fantastic night, really chilled and relaxed and we had an absolute laugh - the staff are super friendly and more than willing to help you out and narrow down your menu decisions. I was even lucky enough to get a photo of the amazing chefs, who truly know how to rock a wok! Another cool little feature that I liked, was if you couldn’t see the Blackboard menu, they’d give you an iPad with the picture of the menu on there, so you’re not missing out!
Book in early if you’re planning to hit up The Den on Friday/Saturdays – they get super busy!
And as always – remember kids, Live a little..
The Rice Den
3/77 Archer Street, Chatswood.
Ph: 9411 2001
BYO / Lisenced