Ruyi – A Different Kind of Chinese

panda 4 rating

Menu:
Lunch Menu Dinner Menu

P & I decided to check out Ruyi for lunch on a Friday as I had heard a lot of good things about the place. Ruyi which translates to – “as you wish” is a spiritual object or talisman which symbolises good fortune – and is owned by Sheng Fang in collaboration with this wife Qian Qian Luo-Fang.

Ruyi serves modern Chinese cuisine but looking in from the outside, as well as once you are well inside – you wouldn’t think this is your typical Chinese restaurant. There is no sight of the typical bright red and yellow colours, coupled with strong, thick wooden furniture. Instead you are greeted with the cooling green and light wooden tones.
The fit out was carried out by Paul Hecker of Hecker Guthrie with most fittings and stylings sourced from around the world. The lights are wooden ash colored handmade lights from France, with the wooden chairs and stools imported from Milan. All the plates, bowls, water glasses and pitchers are made exclusively for Ruyi from local ceramic artist Andrei Davidoff and they are beautiful and fit right in with the Ruyi theme. The feel is warm – thanks to the olive, beige tones – modern and sophisticated – which is somewhat of a cultural shift to the norm of a Chinese restaurant.

There is a lot to read in the menu which means there is plenty of selection to choose from. The two chefs behind the wonderfully created menu have come from Michelin starred Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club – it’s no wonder the result is magnificent. The menu begins with a selection of 3 different homemade soups to choose from (Duck and Tofu, Seafood & Egg White, Hot Sour), then proceeds with Dumplings (there are 4 different types to choose from – Pork and Crab Shao Long Bao, Streamed Vegetarian, Wonton in Chilli Sauce, Pan fried Pork and Chive), followed by Chinese Tapas ( there are 12 different dishes to try and include things like Prawn Cakes, Soft Shell Crab, Peking Duck Cone, Bao Bao, Chicken Wings, Eggplant Strips) and finishes up with the Bigger Dishes (there are 7 choices including Asian Mushrooms, Kong Bao Chicken, Oyster Beef Steak, Wagyu Beef and Duck Braised in home made stock) and Dessert – there is the usual Banana Fritters and Ice cream, but something different they have is the Hazelnut Paste Roll with Ice Cream as well as Sticky Rice Pudding. There is also a selection of sides that you can choose from – think mixed veggies, light chilli green beans, fried rice.

If the menu overwhelms you – you can select a Banquet menu – either a 5 course for $45 or an 8 course for $65. The menu also points out the Recommended dishes to help you select if you are stuck. As P & I went at lunch time – they had a separate Autumn / Winter Lunch Menu where all the Chinese Tapas were priced cheaper. There was also an option of two different set menus available – One for $18 and another for $35. Refer to the pictures above in the menu section to see what each set includes.

After much contemplation of the menu we decided to share some dishes. And since I simply couldn’t look pass ordering the Flaming King Prawn – I needed to know what this dish was about, as the menu states that the King Prawn sits on the fire – how cool!

Our first dish was the Fried Tofu with Szechuan Mayo – this is 3 pieces of lightly tempura battered tofu topped with Szechuan mayo and sprinkled with spring onions. The tofu was delicious – crispy and crunchy on the outside – whilst staying smooth and creamy on the inside. The Szechuan Mayo was light, tangy and refreshing and everything coupled together made for a really great dish.

We also ordered the Steamed Vegetarian Dumplings which come out in a serving of 5 green perfectly moon shaped pieces in a bamboo steamer. Each dumpling is made to order and you can really tell – the filling was fresh, had subtle flavours yet was tasty. I also liked the fact that Ruyi has chilli paste, and not only the chilli oil that is found in most other restaurants.

The last dish to arrive was the Flaming King Prawn – and indeed the prawns were sitting on the fire. I asked our waitress what creates the flame and she said it was the bed of salt coupled with lemon. The waitress also informed us that the prawns had already been cooked – so were ready to eat once we blew out the flame. The prawns were simply scrumptious and they are some of the best king prawns I have ever tasted! The prawns had a hint of spice and were barbequed perfectly – firm in texture yet soft to eat – and were topped with spring onion and capsicum.

We didn’t have enough time to check out the dessert menu – but I will definitely be back to try out more dishes from their menu and will definitely leave some room for dessert! The Hazelnut Paste Roll sounds tantalizing!

The staff are very friendly and quite knowledgeable of the dishes on the menu. Ruyi is a great modern addition to the Chinese cuisine and provides a elegant yet warm homely feel to it. There is an extensive wine list as well serving cocktails, beer and spirits. They also have a separate happy hour section (which is Monday to Friday, 5pm – 7pm).

Rating : 4 Pandas
Price: $$$
Menu – Refer to http://ruyi.com.au/Dining%20Menu.pdf for the Dining Menu
Happy hour menu – http://ruyi.com.au/Happy%20Hour.pdf
Lunch Menu – http://ruyi.com.au/Lunch%20Menu.pdf
Fullness: 100%
Atmosphere / Ambience: Modern, Sophisticated, Elegant and Welcoming
Standout Dish: The Flaming King Prawn
Service: Friendly and very helpful – always very polite and always with a smile!
Online Booking: Yes via website – www.ruyi.com.au
Restaurant Details and Location:
www.ruyi.com.au
16 Liverpool Street, Melbourne
Tel No: 9090 7778

Opening Hours:
Lunch
Mon to Fri 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
Dinner
Mon to Wed 5:30 pm – 10:00 pm
Thu to Fri 5:30 pm – 11:00 pm
Sat 5:00 pm – 11:00 pm

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Cafe Rosamond – Dessert Evenings – A Must Try for all Dessert Lovers!

    
      

Dessert Evenings every Thursday at Cafe Rosamond are brought to you courtesy of  pastry chef Pierre Roelofs – who is extremely talented! Pierre has previously worked at Michelin Star restaurants and interned at The Fat Duck, just to name a few. The way the evening works is that you either decide if you want do one, two or three courses of dessert, for $20, $30 or $40 respectively. You can also choose the addition of a glass “tube” containing a variety of sweet samples for $9 a tube.

There is no menu, so you never really do know what you are eating. The waitresses do tell you what has been used when they come over to deliver the dishes to you, but there are so many ingredients that you really don’t remember them all – you just enjoy the flavour punch that you get when you put it into your mouth. Each dish compromises of about 15 elements, so every mouthful is like a surprise fireworks display. The reactions around the room are interesting to observe and hear – you hear a lot of “oh my gawd’s” and “wow” to pure giggling. It’s great. Food is meant to be fun and hearing and observing these kinds of reactions are what makes meals enjoyable.

The glass tube I had consisted of licorice, puffed rice and jelly. The mix tasted quite potent but sweet at the same (I am not a huge fan of licorice). The first course of dessert I had consisted of Quinoa, Rose, Rhubarb, Vanilla, Grape, Mascapone. I really enjoyed the flavours and the mix of this dessert and it was the first time I had Quinoa in a dessert. The second course consisted of Persian Fairy Floss, Custard, Ice, Granita. I didn’t enjoy this much at all. It had a really strange mix and I didn’t think the flavours or the after taste that you got was nice at all – in fact it left a bit of tangy sting in your mouth. The last dessert was Meringue, Jelly, Custard, Berries. This was another dish that I enjoyed. I am always a huge fan of meringue in desserts and the combination with jelly is great. It was another fruity dish which was a winner.

The menu changes weekly, so even if you were to go back you will always get a different dish. It all adds to the experience of these Dessert Evenings. There are no bookings, you simply have to arrive early and line up. Sometimes if you even get there 20 minutes before the line is about 10 people deep. They do put your name down and offer to call you back.

Rating : 4.5 Pandas
Price: $$
Menu – One, Two or Three Course dessert for $20, 30 or $40 resepectively. You can also have a glass tube for $9
Fullness: 70%
Atmosphere / Ambience: Cosy, Vintage, Old Fashioned
Standout Dish: Most of the Desserts – My fave out of the ones I tried was Dessert #1
Service: Friendly and Informative
Online Booking: No – Recommend going earlier than opening time as you will have to line up to get in.
Restaurant Details and Location:
http://www.pierreroelofs.com/dessert-evenings/
Cafe Rosamond
Rear 191A Smith Street (Cnr Charles Street), Fitzroy
Tel No:  9419 2270

Opening Hours:
Thursday evening: 7pm – 11pm

Please note: Cafe Rosamond operates as a cafe during other times for breakfast/lunch
Monday to Friday: 7.30am – 3.30pm
Saturday: 9am – 3pm

Café Rosamond on Urbanspoon