RICKY & PINKY
RENOWNED MELBOURNE CHEF and restaurateur Andrew Mcconnell is regarded by many in the industry as having been blessed a Midas touch when it comes to envisaging and launching highly anticipated and exceptionally successful dining venues. Located in Fitzroy within the venerable surrounds of The Builders Arms Hotel, rising from the space previously occupied by Moon Under Water and the bistro—came Ricky & Pinky.
Cleverly retaining the main structure of a typically historic Fitzroy pub, along with smaller tables around the bar area, where drinks and a bar menu can be enjoyed, Ricky & Pinky also delivers a stylish, architecturally designed open plan interior, featuring Lazy Susans and live seafood tanks. Staff are friendly and more than happy to explain the various dishes, and equally comfortable recommending suggestions from the impressive wine list and the corresponding array of beers and cocktails on offer. Chef Archan Chan’s Hong Kong heritage, along with Andrew Mcconnell’s own long experience in the region, ensures the authenticity of the Hong Kong style dishes on the menu, and in turn also the popularity of the yum cha, which is available during lunchtime Friday to Sunday.
The yum cha menu includes dishes such as crispy-spiced quail, honeycomb tripe with fermented chilli, Peking duck spring rolls, steamed beef bao with chilli sauce, and also pork ribs with black bean and garlic. Vegetarians are well catered for with similarly enticing morsels such as the shiitake and spinach dumplings with spiced vinegar, and a deceptively simple but entirely delicious salad of smashed cucumber and radishes with fragrant chilli oil and marinated black fungus with aged vinegar. Diners are also able to select from a range of rice, noodles and vegetables, including steamed rolled rice noodles with Chinese donut and pork floss, or stir-fried baby pan choy with black bean sauce. However, the yum cha options extend still further with roast meats such as Char Siu pork, a half Chinese roast duck with prune hoi sin sauce, or roast pork belly with crackling. For anyone finding themselves still able to accommodate dessert, steamed custard buns, fried sesame balls, a bowl of fresh lychees, or even oversized XL fortunate cookies provide the perfect finale.
The dinner menu at Ricky & Pinky is equally enjoyable, and diners may start with some delicately flavoured Moonlight Flat Oysters with a bonito vinaigrette, or perhaps the shredded cabbage with yuzu kosho mayonnaise and Moreton Bay bugs, before moving on to larger dishes such as the pan fried whole flounder with Gui Lin chilli sauce, pickled ginger and coriander, the Strawberry clams and XO sauce with fried donuts, or the shredded cumin lamb with crispy chilli, cucumber pickle and steamed bao. Desserts include steamed ginger custard with rice flakes, coconut, lychee granita and apple, or the excellent Banana semifreddo with chocolate caramel and crisp batter. For those unable to stay and enjoy the experience of dining at Ricky & Pinky all is not lost, as some of their dishes are available to take away.
Ricky & Pinky, 211 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy. 9417 7700. buildersarmshotel.com.au/bar-bistro/