Rice Tapas on Garema Place is a strange beast.
Hopeful sandwich boards on street level promise the world while pointing to a, slightly terrifying, dingy staircase.
(Often there’s mail for the establishment waiting on the bottom step, be a dear and take it up for them)
Having braved the stair and passed through the door one is greeted by a friendly hello and a bain marie with an ever changing assortment of dishes.
$8 gets you two dishes of your choice with rice or noodles.
Pictured is crispy beef in sweet chilli, and ginger chicken, with noodles. There are usually six or seven different dishes to choose from.
The decor is clean but down at heel. The clientelle is a mixed bag but its very popular with PhD students (always a good sign of value for money).
The kitchen can be a little variable. Some days it’s top quality restaurant grade, other days merely good value for money.
If you get there around 12 you can often get a window seat overlooking Garema Place for the full dinner show of alcoholics, chuggers, and religious crazies.
An extra $2 gets a can of coke and amazingly if you’re eating in (same price) comes with attentive staff to pour a glass of water and inquire as to whether a glass is needed for the coke.
The name suggests there is tapas available, and they certainly do have an a la carte menue, but a quick, cheap and top value lunch is where they really shine.
They do have a facebook page if you want to check them out.
[This article is the first in a series on cheap lunches to be found in and around the city. If you have any suggestions leave them in the comments or email them to firstname.lastname@example.org ]