Red Spice Road Restaurant Review

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Complementary art by David Bromley adorns the walls

The word Red Spice Road almost immediately conjure the image of its signature dish – pork belly. The restaurant is synonymous with pork belly as how Eiffel Tower is with Paris. My first visit to Red Spice Road was in those early days when no booking was essential. As one would have guessed,those days were long gone. Consider yourself lucky, if you can walk in on a weekday night without a booking. (Tips: Book it in!). This restaurant hosts many memories and events for me.

The largest indoor lantern in Southern Hemisphere

Once you stepped into the restaurant, you can’t help but to set your gaze on a giant red lantern ( the largest indoor lantern in Southern Hemisphere) hanging over a large round dining table (sitting 60 people) with three naked Asian ladies painting adorned the whole wall across the room. My friend described the lighting as being ‘very flattering’ ( translating to good venue for dates) which sets an intimate atmosphere despite the communal dining concept. Communal dining simply means you will know the whole story of the person sitting next to you if you listen closely enough (Why would you even do that by the way?). And, no, you don’t know this person. The restaurant caters for all sort of events including private rooms (I’ve held a birthday dinner before) ,an outdoor courtyard, a bar and also a common dining area.

I remember my first visit to this enchanting restaurant. Undecided between ordering the quail or the pork belly, I asked for recommendation.The waiter answered, ” Usually the guys order the pork belly and the women,the quail”. I remember sitting there thinking to myself  ” I didn’t realise that sex comes into play with flavour and taste.” Puzzled, I asked her why. “Oh, pork belly is fattening.” I breathed a sigh of relief. My concern was unfounded. I told her “I’ll get the pork belly if that’s the house speciality!” ( For those who is not fortunate haven’t seen me, it’s a mystery where all the food I’ve eaten gone to! I’m puzzled myself.

Pork belly with apple slaw and chilli caramel

The menu is designed for sharing and it’s good to have a balanced of meals with different flavours. However, if you need to order only one dish, then it has to b the pork belly. The pork belly is simply mouth-watering. Pour the black vinegar all over the pork. As you bite into the pork belly, the meat just melt into your mouth. The combination of the crispy skin of pork belly coated with five spice powder with sweet chilli caramel sauce balanced with the sour apple slaw is simply mouth-watering. I know it’s easy to be over zealous with the sauce, but try not to put too much on your rice or else the sweet chilli caramel will be too overpowering. This winning dish has been the talk of the town for a long time now. My friends and I were surprised that the secret recipe is shared in the cook book (I received the cookbook as a birthday present). I now understand why. It takes about 5 hours to prepare and cook this winning dish! It’s so much easier to pay someone to enjoy this dish. Having said that, I am up for the challenge to prepare this dish when I have a full day to spare!

On my recent visit, I’ve discovered another must order dish – lamb ribs with chilli,cumin and coriander. Being a lover of lamb, this is simply a heaven-sent dish for me. This succulent lamb rib is full of flavour, both from the fatty part of the lamb and the well seasoned crispy coating. The flour mix comprised of chilli powder,cumin seeds, coriander seeds and garlic powder and seasoned with light soy sauce.The lamb just melt into your mouth as you bite into it. It has a spicy kick with chilli powder and with warm aroma from the cumin seeds. ( I think I need a moment here…)

Lamb ribs with chilli,cumin and coriander

Another new dish I’ve tried recently is the corn fritters with tamarind caramel. I think we had not given our selection much of thought on this occasion as the dishes are chosen as dishes on their own rather than to be eaten together. Anyhow, I find that the corn fritter filled you up even though it’s just an appetizer.

Corn fritters with tamarind caramel

My top must order dishes for Red Spice Road are:


  • Betel leaf with smoked salmon, chilli, kaffir Lime & coriander $6/each
  • Lamb ribs with chilli,cumin and coriander $14.50

Shared main

  • Pork belly with apple slaw, chilli caramel and black vinegar $34
  • Rockling green curry With baby Corn and eggplants $35


  • Passionfruit brulee with puffed wild rice and coconut ice cream $14.00

Things always change but I can always count on Red Spice Road for my pork belly craving! So, what are you waiting for? Book it in today!

Red Spice Road Restaurant

27 McKillop Street,

Melbourne VIC 3000

Tel: (03) 9603 1601

Open: Mon-Fri 12-3.00pm

Mon-Sat 6-11.00pm

Price: $$$ ( Entree: $4.50-$16.30)

Main: $30-$35

Entrée: $13-$15

Cuisine: South East Asian

Description: Restaurant with bar

Ambience: 8

Service: 7

Food: 8

Value: 7.5

My Rating: 7.5

Red Spice Road on Urbanspoon


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