Here to throw some zest back into the streets of Subiaco is Rice Baby, a modern Asian eatery and bar, just opened and ready to entertain.
The newest addition from the team behind Miss Chow’s in Claremont, Rice Baby features authentic Asian food, funky cocktails, and modern décor with a vintage twist. Whether you’re after lunch, dinner, or a few drinks and nibbles, the restaurant caters to every type of diner – and is styled accordingly. Designer Paul Lim from Mata Design Studio is responsible for the sophisticated and vibrant setup, which fuses perfectly with chef Cara Lim’s elegant menu. Beautiful American Oak, an impressive long bar, different seating options and interesting, clever wooden panelling all help to create a warm, inviting space. Best of all, the lighting is just right! If you can, try and snare a seat on the covered terrace.
Inspired by Peranakan cuisine, the menu features authentic and fresh Asian food with zero preservatives and all completely MSG free. Additionally, the restaurant caters for vegetarian and gluten free patrons, includes a pram and wheelchair access ramp, plus mocktails just as delicious as their alcoholic counterparts.
Rice Baby is all about accessibility. Founder and part owner, Kelda works the floor fabulously and says that “the whole concept was to have an approachable space. We want families to be able to come here and get really fresh, wholesome food, and be in a great environment”. We headed down on opening day and families, business people, and casual restaurant goers were all there, enjoying this newest addition to the Subi dining scene. After years of waiting for something worth of the fabulous 'old Oriel' site, they looked pleased that their patience had finally been rewarded.
As you would expect from Miss Chow sibling, dumplings are a highlight. Perch them in the spoon, add a condiment or two, gently pierce to let the fragrant broth ooze out and down the hatch. Whether as a starter to a larger meal or a stand alone lunch, they're perfect. If you like it crispy, the wantons are fantastic. Crunchy, light, hot – all good. More substantial dishes include an excellent prawn curry, beef rendang, noodle dishes with a twist, various salads and much more. We thought it was considered with enough variety to please everyone. Best of all, each dish was high on flavour and prices are reasonable.
Consdiering the calibre of the bar staff, do try a cocktail (or mocktail) or two. We are a little obsessed with the Sex in the City. Served with super fat straws to suck up the lychee bobs, ths dusty pink concoction is a little dangerous!
They also offer a unique selection of teas to complement the menu, and black Asahi on tap.
The Rice Baby team are committed to the cause, having travelled to Melbourne, China, and Taiwan in order to research and curate a menu and interior that reflects real modern Asian eating. Also sourced on the team’s research trip were Chinese antiques, which you’ll find dotted around the interior. The bar staff boasts a combination of industry and personal experience including studying and living in Taiwan and working in the Perth's much lauded, Long Chim.
Rice Baby can also take care of you this silly season with their function bookings – so be sure to check them out at www.ricebaby.com.au or on insta @ricebabyau for more details. We love it and, with our offices just up the road, we have a sneaking suspicion it will fast become our go-to hotspot.
Rice Baby is open 11am – 11pm Monday to Friday, and 10am – 11pm Saturday & Sunday for brunch onwards. 483 Hay Street Subiaco.