Rize Chinese restaurant is one of those strange almost invisible places on Brunswick St which, despite a good location, seems to struggle for customers and recognition. No food bloggers have reviewed it as far as I can see and when I included it as a contestant in a previous ‘tell me where to go’ poll it didn’t win. One of the things I try to do with Fitzroyalty is to review and discuss anything of relevance to the Fitzroy community, regardless of its popularity. So when a friend recently requested yum cha, I though Rize deserved a visit for their weekend only $15.80 all you can eat yum cha.
Arriving soon after 11am on Saturday, we were only the second table in the restaurant, which slowly built to about half full in the time we were there. As it’s a relatively small place, there’s no trolley. You are given a form containing a list of dishes and you tick the ones you want, then repeat until you admit defeat. We started with prawn toast, spring rolls, ginger and shallot wontons, greens in oyster sauce and scallop dumplings. The spring rolls came with what we were surprised to find was tomato sauce!
We then explored the dumplings more deeply – small beef ones that came with chilli oil dipping sauce, seafood (prawn and corn mainly), more scallop ones (the outstanding ones in my opinion), more ginger shallot wontons, other tasty beef dumplings and excellent buns filled with delicious hoi sin pork.
Given it was relatively quiet the service wasn’t fast, but it wasn’t bad. The tomato sauce suggests it’s not the most authentic place to go for yum cha in Melbourne and, compared to larger places in Chinatown, the range is limited. But it is mostly very good, and the scallop dumplings and pork buns were as good as any I’ve had.
The tea was also lovely and refreshing – I’m no expect on tea but I thought it was particularly good. On reflection I was very pleased with Rize, and plan now to return to try the normal menu. The food was more than acceptable and, as far as I tell, it’s the only place offering yum cha in Fitzroy (I don’t think Old Kingdom or Mao’s offer it). $15.80 all you can eat yum cha at Rize is a unique, affordable and enjoyable Saturday Brunswick St lunch.