“ Address: Metrocentre / Gateshead NE11 9YG / Tel: 0191 493 2131 „
This restaurant promises to give diners fast, fresh, authentic rice based dishes from around the world.
RICE first opened in 2005 in Piccadilly Gardens, Manchester, and there are now several RICE restaurants in Manchester as well as this one in the Metro Centre. It is located in the food court, close to the cinema and other restaurants offering a range of food types.
The restaurant opens onto the walkway with an open doorway. Inside the restaurant, it is all very open plan, light and airy with wooden trestle type tables in rows in the room. There is an open plan kitchen where diners can watch the food being prepared and also see many of the ingredients being used.
It is all very functional and clean looking with plain décor and very few adornments. It was busy when we got to the restaurant early mid week and because the tables are long and there was only my friend and I we sat alongside other diners. This didn't pose a problem for us but it may be an issue if people were out for an intimate meal.
Like the restaurant, the menu is plain and functional and each dish is numbered up to number 99 and then the accompaniments add three more. This is probably helpful because it is a fast food place and helps orders to be taken easily, but it does make it seem like a take away.
The appetizers and starters start at £3.49 forThai Prawn Crackers (Thai style crackers served with a sweet chilli dipping sauce) whilst the most expensive is the World Combo Platter £6.49 for 1 portion and £9.99 for two portions (This is Jamaican jerk chicken wings, Italian Suppli, Thai fish cakesand Chinese spring rolls served with salad and dipping sauces). I think for the latter starter you would have to be very hungry.
There is a Share the World with Rice option, which serve 2 people and all dishes are served with Lemon Zest Rice. On this option, there is a choice of Seafood Platter, £24.99, Meat Platter, £23.99 and Surf & Turf Platter £24.99. Having read the description of these dishes, they seem to offer exactly what one would expect, each with a varied selection of the foods.
There are also soups, all served with Thai prawn crackers, an assorted Sushi platter and a Vegetarian Sushi platter as well as seven wok seared noodle dishes which all include noodles. The four curry dishes cost around £8 and the dishes from the grill include rice or noodles.
It was refreshing to see that the accompaniments did not give the option of chips, but only several types of rice, Wok Seared Noodles and Wok Seared Pak Choi, all costing £4.99.
We chose to order from the wok seared rice dishes of which there were 9 in total and all dishes including rice or noodles. One of the things I did like about the menu was the way in which there is a suggestion for the most appropriate rice or noodles for the dish.
My friend chose the Jamaican Jerk Chicken costing £7.99 which is tender firecracker chicken, Caribbean style. But instead of the recommended Hopping John Rice she chose the Jasmine Rice. The dish was colourful and had lots of vegetables included with the chicken. It also had lots of the sauce which was tasty with the rice. I thought that the Jasmine rice may have been overpowered by the sauce or that the tastes would clash but it was actually a lovely accompaniment and the dish was tasty. I chose the Argentinean Fillet Beef Pepper Steak at £8.49 which is stone grilled fillet of beef in a marinade of olive oil, chopped parsley and cracked black pepper. With the recommended: Savoury shallot rice. This was a dry dish and whilst it was tasty and the beef not overly chewy, I was disappointed by the act that there was no sauce for the rice! I am always disappointed when I prefer my companion's dish to my own.
Address: Metrocentre, Gateshead. NE11 9YG
Telephone: 0191 493 2131
Manchester Piccadilly Gardens
Manchester Trafford Centre
The meal including a glass of wine each cost us less than £20 because there was an offer whereby if you bought one meal you got the second for 1p, so immediately very good value.
The dishes when served don't look as though they will be especially filling but there was plenty of food for us although for anyone with a really big appetite, a starter may be needed. The presentation of the dishes is ok, with nothing fancy, but with the rice and main meal being separated and served on white plates.
The staff are helpful and will recommend accompaniments but because its busy, there is little chance for pleasantries.
Clean and functional, this is a fast food restaurant which serves tasty and relatively healthy food. Worth a visit if in the area.
Thanks for reading