29 Aug Ricky & Pinky, Fitzroy
In 2016, Andrew McConnell’s Builders Arms Hotel said goodbye to Moon Under Water and hello to Ricky & Pinky. The public bar survived the switch and still serves up some good ol’ pub grub, but step into the restaurant and you’ll experience Ricky & Pinky’s Hong Kong and Sichuan-style Chinese food.
Sibling Architects created an interior with a bit of old and new with green carpet, marble lazy susans, live-seafood tanks, and gold piping across the ceiling.
Archan Chan is in charge of the kitchen, after having worked for McConnell at Cutler & Co and Supernormal. Smashed cucumber and radish with fragrant chilli oil kicks things off, followed by the raw cobia with sweet ginger dressing and a fair hit from the scud chilli. It’s a firm and delectable fatty fish.
There’s plenty of Sichuan pepper going on in the dishes tonight. The Sichuan chicken salad features the numbing pepper in its mala dressing. Fortunately there’s some cooling cucumber on the plate, and they also give the dish some crunch that’s complemented by the crunchy peanuts
Peking duck spring rolls arrive partly-assembled. Take a bite out of one end, push a baton of cucumber through, and dip it in the sauce. Sichuan pork dumplings have silky smooth skins, and come bathed in a tangy garlic, chive and chilli oil.
I rather enjoy the texture of the chewy and slightly crispy Rice Cakes, which are topped with pork floss. There’s a slight sweetness from the lap cheong, which made by McConnell’s Meatsmith. Shredded Cumin Lamb with more of that Sichuan pepper is soon loaded into super fluffy bao. There are crispy bits in it too, making it even more exciting.
After all that spice, the Coconut, Passionfruit Granita and Pomelo is the perfect sweet to end the meal. It’s refreshing and tangy, and cooling and cleansing for the palate. After that we jump into the much richer Sesame Balls with chocolate custard filling.
For a different dining experience, Ricky and Pinky also hold yum cha sessions on Friday, Saturday & Sunday from 12pm.
Disclaimer: I was invited to Ricky & Pinky as a guest, however, opinions expressed here are purely my own, and are based on my experience at the time
Ricky & Pinky
211 Gertrude St
Fitzroy, VIC, 3065
(03) 9417 7700