Food and Drink
Posted by Veronica Fil
06. Feb, 2014
Gertrude Street presents a devastating first world problem to indecisive types; there are simply too many cafes and restaurants to choose from. Marriages have probably broken down over this. The Rickshaw has just compounded the conundrum, setting up shop along the connective vein that Tandoori Times once inhabited.
Now, before you assume it’s just another Asian fusion fly-by-nighter, this restaurant actually has some balls it. The staff hail from strong hospitality pedigree, including familiar faces from Virginia Plain, Chin Chin, Bang Pop, Chocolate Budda (and even former Crown Casino crew, if you’re that way inclined). That’s the first surprise.
The second is the wine list, which is worlds beyond what you might expect from a casual pan-Asian eatery (if in doubt ask Yordan, the manager — he’ll sort you out). Speaking of beverages, they’ve wisely decided not to compete with the abundance of local coffee competitors, instead offering a ‘traditional’ version of the caffeinated brew. There’s no espresso machine here, but Yordan is pretty pumped about his specially blended beans, and won’t make you pay for it if you hate it. Chances are, however, you’ll be won over.
Food-wise, it’s more expensive than real hawker food, but an awful lot cheaper than a trip to Asia. Some dishes lack punch, but it’s early days yet and there’s still gems to be found. The Rickshaw sliders offer an alternative take on the glut of dude food that’s invaded our menus of late — buns laden with seared wagyu and yuzu mayo ($7), or lentil and vegetable patty ($5), while the char kuay tiew ($16) represents Asian comfort-eating at its best.
It’s a sharing style menu, but again this is probably a good thing for those who struggle to commit to any one dish. The four course banquet for $35 — add wine or beer matches for an extra $20-25 —could be your answer.
199 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy
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