18 Mar Rock Paper Scissors, Port Melbourne
Rock Paper Scissors opened in October last year, and no, please don’t confuse it with Rice Paper Scissors. Owner Zach’s background is in carpentry and after spending 15 years building restaurants, bars and cafes for other people, he decided to open something of his own. Zach is no stranger to commercial kitchens either. Both his father and brother are chefs, and he dabbled in the trade himself for a time. They’ve had a hand in ownership too and this is their fourth venture, previously running Waldorf Diner and Fabric (both now closed), Spinifex in Kensington, Social Glutton in Hawthorn.
Given his background in woodwork, it’s perhaps not so surprising that Zach built some of the fit out himself. What’s even more impressive is that he also designed it. Bi-fold windows at the front give them the flexibility to open up the whole space. Wonderful for sunny weather. Not so wonderful for the absolutely dreadful wind and rain that was happening outside when we visit, but we’re sheltered and cosy inside. I don’t even realise how bad the weather is turning until I see staff members running outside to save the planter boxes. Rock Paper Scissors is designed to be a comfortable place to be in, and it’s a cafe with a simple mantra: one that serves good food and good coffee.
Their amazing coffee is supplied by Toby’s Estate and gluten-free bread is from Noisette.
The shakshouka baked eggs had a beautiful red colour, but they also had a very strong tomato flavour that was a bit too tart for my liking. It perhaps needed more spices and something to balance out the acidity. Surprisingly, the gluten free bread tasted almost the same as regular white bread – kudos to Noisette. A Barcelona salad featuring pulled pork and orange segments was also ordered, but without feta in order to be dairy-free. Although this meant there was less tang to balance out all the flavours properly, it was still moist and delicious.
The Corn Fritter Stack towers with bacon, chopped avocado, tomato salsa, smoked capsicum and a perfectly poached egg. The different elements were tasty and balanced, everything freshened up by a squeeze of lemon, and the corn fritters had excitingly crispy bases. I felt that they contained a bit too much flour, but each mouthful of the dish as a whole sure was flavoursome.
The pancakes were visually tantalising. There was so much enticing colour, yet it wasn’t over-the-top with plating theatrics. The pancakes were moist, and though there was a very slight bicarb aftertaste, most of it was masked by the sweetness of the fruit and slight bitterness of the dried goji berries.
Speaking of theatrics, their 4C Freak Shake, standing for chocolate, coffee, cookies and cream, is a bit of DIY operation. The cookies and cream ‘Magnum’ forms the ice cream part of the shake. Mashing up the Oreo and ice cream creates a thick, delicious drink that isn’t too sweet, though it’s one I’d recommend sharing.
Named after the hand game, their logo is designed to match. Look out for the logo on their signage rather than a written name. The menu will be changing every few months; look forward to a more Middle Eastern theme and warming dishes to suit the cooler weather coming up!
Disclaimer: I was invited to Rock Paper Scissors as a guest, however, opinions expressed here are purely my own and are based on my experience at the time
Rock Paper Scissors
136/138 Rouse St
Port Melbourne, VIC, 3207