Monday, 10 June 2013

Red Silk

Level 1, 200 Bourke St 
Melbourne, VIC 

Surprises are the best, but good surprises are even better. I was going out of my mind on a Friday night, trying to find a cheap restaurant I haven’t visited before, and served food I felt like eating. I had practically reached my wit’s end when I remembered Red Silk, a Chinese/Malaysian restaurant that’s hovered indistinctly at the edges of my mind for as long as I could remember. Let that be known to all the non-bloggers out there – going out to eat thrice a week and then blogging it isn’t as glamorous as it may seem!

So why haven’t I visited Red Silk up until now? In my head, a slick bar/lounge interior and Asian food always clash to form subpar, expensive dining. Then I actually took a look at their menu. It turns out that whilst appearances say drinks and bar food, what they actually do serve is a surprisingly extensive spread of Malaysian and Cantonese dishes, from street food like curry laksa, to restaurant fare like herbal lamb hotpots. There’s even a smattering of Japanese and Indian thrown in there. 

Milo with Pearl Sago ($3.8)

The downside to ambient lounges however, is the complete lack of light. Balking at the photo-murdering darkness, I opted to sit outside on the balcony instead, warmed by heat lamps and a tall glass of hot Milo with Pearl Sago ($3.8). Sitting above Bourke Street on a crisp night with a frothy glass of hot Milo is exactly what winter should be. 

Salt and Pepper Crispy Chicken Rib with Fried Egg on Rice ($9.8)

I really wanted fried chicken so I ‘bullied’ Chris into ordering the Salt and Pepper Crispy Chicken Rib with Fried Egg on Rice ($9.8). It’s hard to go wrong when it’s fried chicken and whilst not awe-inspiringly crunchy, it is deliciously marinated with salt and pepper, scattered with a fragrant mix of fried shallots, chilli, and garlic.

Wonton Egg Noodle Soup ($9.5)

The bowl of Wonton Egg Noodle Soup ($9.5) that I’ve been craving gave a very solid performance. Floating in the light, clear soup was a tangle of al-dente noodles, and half a dozen of tight little parcels filled with pork and prawn.  My only gripe was the lettuce in the soup; why would anyone want lettuce in soup?

By the time we left, both the inner lounge and the balcony were packed with people. I was really impressed with Red Silk as a place overall; it’s a gorgeous place to while away the night if you want more than just cheap drinks. It’s not exactly a place I would go out of my way to eat at but it’s definitely a place I’d remember if I wanted a tipple and something good to eat.

Rating: 13/20 – red cotton.

The rating reflects my personal experience at the time of visit.

Red Silk on Urbanspoon

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