Modern Chinese cuisine on Darby St
We are introducing Newcastle to authentic delicious Chinese dishes made from rice and rice noodles. - NomiSee our handpicked guides to Newcastle
BY ALICIA POOLE
Darby Street has long been known as the home of all things food and shopping related, and with the recent addition of a new Chinese inspired joint, Mr. Rice, we don’t think that title is going anywhere.
Only opening a few short months ago in August, Mr Rice has quickly become a favourite amongst locals as their menu brings Chinese cuisine to life with a modern flair.
Owners Nomi and Belinda hail from China and have known one another for eight years and have both called Newcastle home for the past six. The pair are also co-owners with two others from the Beaumont St favourite, Naka Noodle. If you’ve dined there, you know that Mr Rice will be sure to bring the same quality of food and service; but on a new level!
“After receiving good reviews from Naka Noodle, we chose to open Mr Rice on Darby St. It reveals the story behind our country with the most popular dishes in China today. Letting you experience a more fashionable, integrated and diverse China,” Nomi said.
Wanting to create not just restaurant, Mr Rice is the perfect spot to bring together friends and family for a group meal. The core difference is the focus on modern Chinese cuisine. So, what exactly is that?
“Modern Chinese food means the food that people in China actually eat nowadays. Traditional food with our modern cooking style.”
Being the foodies that we are, a taste tester of some of the dishes were of course high on the agenda. To get an idea of the menu, we sampled quite a range with Belinda and Nomi throwing in their favourites as well.
To start we ordered a serving of the Zhong Dumpling, as well as two Rice Noodle in hot pot (one chicken and one mixed vegetables). Followed by our favourite of the day, the Special Crispy Duck; if you like chilli, you’ll love this one. For the vegetarians, we sampled the Stir-Fried Snow Bean with Lotus and Corn and for those pescatarians out there we gave the seafood on sizzling plate a try. It’s safe to say my belly was full for not only the rest of the day but into the night as well.
But the tasting did not stop there! We of course had to sample the dessert options so ordered the Hongkong Style Milk Tea and the Mango Sago. To put it simply; yum.
So, what are Belinda and Nomi’s picks of the bunch?
“All our dishes are our favourites as we picked them up from thousands of options. If have to name one or two, they would be poached beef slices in Shallot and Ginger sauce and Iceberg Pork. Simple because you could only have these delicious tastes in Mr Rice.”
We can second the above; the Iceberg Pork sure is a one hell of a statement dish.
The space itself is homed in one of the iconic terrace buildings on Darby Street, wedged between the famous Three Monkeys and Beach Burrito.
“We are passionate about all delicious ingredients and tastes, and we like everyone to try something modern and authentic. Mr Rice also aims to bring you a fine dining atmosphere and friendly service.”
The main dining space also extends out towards the back of the building and upstairs, which in itself is its own dining sanctuary and available for private functions.
After running Naka Noodle for the past two years, Nomi and Belinda are excited to bring another space to the locals of Newcastle.
“We’re confident that Darby Street is a good spot to let more people know about us, and we’re excited to add a bit of colour to the area.”