“ Address: Unit 5a / The Orient Trafford Centre / Manchester M17 8AA „
Rice Flame Bar & Grill was first opened in 2005 at Piccadilly Gardens in Manchester. Since then four more branches have opened in the UK, with another due to be opened in Sheffield very soon. This review is based on a recent trip to the branch located in the Trafford Centre, Manchester. The concept of RICE is based on the fact that rice is a fast, healthy and nutritious food. Although many people would automatically associate rice with oriental cooking, RICE in fact offers many choices of cuisine from around the world, such as; Spanish, Mongolian, Jamaican, Mexican, Italian and many more. My Experience I don't claim to be a foodie, I just love my food (hence my ever expanding waistline) at home or eating out. I've also become more experimental with food as i've gotten older and am much more willing to try new foods. Myself and James were in the area of the Trafford Centre one Monday afternoon and as we didn't have the kids we decided to take the rare opportunity to grab a bite to eat. I'm not that familiar with the Trafford Centre, despite living in Manchester and love shopping, I despise the place, it's too big and even more frustrating when you can't find anything you want in a place that big. So I have only ever set foot in the place twice before. James, however quite likes it there and is much more familiar with it than I. He lead us straight to part of the centre known as The Orient. I was expecting to have a Chinese meal but the menu situated outside RICE caught both of our eyes. The menu was quite vast and very varied and it smelt pretty fit too. We decided to give it a whirl. We were greeted by a very polite waitress who showed us to our table and took our drinks order while we read the menu. On the tables there was also a seperate sushi menu and a lunchtime special menu. The lunch time special menu was a deal that consisted of a selection of starters and main dishes from the full menu, the deal was the for £7.99 you could get two courses and a cup of tea or coffee. The menu was so mouth watering it was impossible to decided what to go for, James was struggling too, so we decided to get a sharing platter. He loves fish and meat, Im not a great lover of fish but the prawns sounded yummy so we decided to go for the Surf and Turf sharing platter. Washed down with Tiger beer. The food didn't take long to arrive at all and it looked really good. The platter consisted of a large skewer of Scottish Salmon, 4 large Tiger Prawns (cooked in some kind of spice), 2 New Zealand lamb chops, a Tandoori Chicken Thigh and a large piece of Argentinian Pepper steak. It was served with green salad, with some kind of vinegarette, a large bowl of Lemon Zest rice and sesame oil, mint yoghurt sauce and sweet chili sauce. The waitress gave us a side plate each and we began to dig in. The meat, fish and the rice were mostly full of flavour , except for the steak. I was expecting great things from the steak but to be honest I've had better from the super market. We had asked for it medium but it was well done, a bit tough and a wee bit bland. James wouldn't let me complain as everything else had been delicious. It took quite a while after we had finished eating for the waitress to come back , clear the table and let us request the bill. I thought at the time that this may have been a ploy to get us to buy more drinks. The came to in the region of £45 (James wouldn't let me see the actual amount being the gent he is), the platter cost £24.99 and we had two drinks each. so in my opinion the food was a good deal but the drinks were dear. Overall I would eat at RICE again, the atmosphere was relaxed and laid back, the decor pleasant and the staff helpful and polite. The menu is really interesting and I did note that they also do a kids menu. Kids meals are £3.99 of they can have a small portion of anything off the main menu for £5.40. There were also high chairs available. Apart from the steak my only other gripe is that in my opinion the tables were too close together, there wasn't a great deal of room between the back of my chair and the back of somebody elses'. Overall a positive experience and I want to go back as I think this place will be ideal for me to break my sushi virginity.