Ros’ Rating: Food: 9 Service: 7 Atmosphere: 7 Value for money: 9
Rice is a restaurant that I walked past every day for several years without noticing. Now that I have discovered it and had a chance to visit, I’m kicking myself for missing such a good place for so long.
Despite its very plain exterior, and it’s unfortunate location on shabby Shepherds Bush Road, the inside of ‘Rice ‘ is very attractive. The restaurant somewhat breaks the mould compared to other Thai eateries in the area, opting for elegant classical decor rather than highly a stylised Thai theme. I would say the only let down was the choice of music. It was just a bit too ‘cheesy-disco’ and didn’t seem appropriate during a meal out
We decided to go for the mixed starter for two (as we feel is necessary on any first visit to a restaurant) followed by Goon’s choice of stir fried duck and mine of deep fried whole black tilapia with a sweet and spicy sauce We also got some garlic rice and pork pad thai.
The starter selection was excellent. The tempura batter on the vegetables was beautifully light and crisp and the chicken satay skewers were tasty and succulent. Everything else was to a high standard.
The mains also didn’t disappoint. Goon’s duck was very tender and perfectly seasoned. It really was delicious. My tilapia was great fun to disect. It was cooked perfectly which impressive since it is not all that easy to deep fry whole fish. The sauce was very tasty with very strong flavours of lemongrass, Our acompaniments of pad thai and sticky garlic and the pad thai came with an interesting omelette ‘hat,’ which was a nice touch that I hadn’t encountered before.
The service was competent and efficient throughout our meal. The waiting staff would sometimes come across as a little bit stressed but this did not effect their efficiency or the way they dealt with the customers.
As for value for money, we had a starter for two, two mains, a pleasant bottle of white wine and two side disjes for £66. Given the quality of the food, I would say this was excellent value.
Rice is a superb small establishment, with an exciting menu and excellently prepared food. Thoroughly recommended.