Originally published on Forksake
Food texture is a really important part of eating; It can make or break a meal. For chefs, getting the texture of a dish correct is a tough job, considering diners’ textural preferences are so individualised.
While lots of people are turned off by certain textures, such as rubbery or gummy food items, I find myself pretty indiscriminatory. I love dishes of all textures, from chewy to mushy to lumpy or congealed. Please don’t judge.
I’m not alone in this infatuation. Many people love the texture of a lumpy porridge, the skin that results from heating milk, or the consistency that cheese takes after it’s been melted and then cooled. In certain Asian cuisines, there’s an overarching affinity for the aforementioned rubbery and gummy food items. In fact, ‘Q’ is a term used in Taiwan to describe this exact texture. We’re talking boba balls, fish cakes, preserved eggs and, of course, rice cakes.
Rice cakes come in all shapes, sizes, textures and flavours, depending on what region they hail from and how they are prepared. From the extra chewy Korean garae-tteok to the softer, sticker Chinese nian gao to a less gummy, veggie-heavy variety called lo bak go, rice flour-based goods are a delicacy within many traditional Asian diets.
I love rice cakes in every single form, and I’ve made it my mission to hunt down all the best spot to source rice cakes in Melbourne. Here are my top picks for rice cakes of all types in an around Melbourne’s inner city:
Best Korean Rice Cake
Best Japanese Rice Cake
Ebi Fine Foods (Footscray)
Best Sticky Rice Cake
Image via Sweet and Sour Fork
Best Hong Kong Rice Cake
Cafe SoHo (CBD)
Image via Zomato
Best Eggy Rice Cake
Old Raffles Place (Collingwood)
Image via OpenTable
Best Non-Traditional Rice Cake
Image via Dimmi
Best Vegetarian Rice Cake
TIE: Blissful Station (Box Hill) & Veggie On Board (Hawthorn)
Best Michelin-Stared Rice Cake
Tim Ho Wan (CBD)
Image via YedyLicious
This list is just the tip of the iceberg, as there are so many rice cake dishes I have yet to try. Take the garlic chive rice cakes from Bopha Devi (Yarraville), the tteok kochi from Lui.Boss (Preston) and the rice cake chips from The More the Better (Elsternwick).
Who wants to grab a meal with me?
*All images author’s own unless otherwise stated