Edmonton's west end has chain restaurants galore but my body refuses to ingest the chemicals found in the chain restaurants pre-packaged sauces and dressings. Often that leaves very little to choose from and don't even talk to me about the msg in most oriental cooking. So what a find RICE PAPER -Vietnamese Fine Cuisine has been.
This unpretentious restaurant is tucked into the area of Stoney Plain that is hotel heaven for those flocking to West Edmonton Mall. The easiest access to this fresh flavoured restaurant is off Stoney Plain Rd onto southbound 100 Ave and taking a quick right into the entrance of the Quality Inn West Harvest hotel.
Past the entry that houses the restaurants' incense burning shrine you are ushered into the simply furnished interior; we enjoy the casual privacy of the booth seating over the tables that can accommodate larger parties. This is a family owned and managed restaurant. Mom and Dad are in the back and the grown adult kids and friends are up front providing service that is truly informed and keenly interested in answering questions and meeting special needs like my msg intolerance.
And the food…mmm yummy deeelish. We have made a number of visits to the Rice Paper trying the light puffy and toothsome onion cakes, different regional special soups and hot pot, a couple of different Bún offerings- the grilled shrimp provide fresh wonderful punches of flavour. Whether it's the cooks' Vietnamese take on chow mien or the newly added Beef in Green Curry we have found the flavours to be subtly complex, truly fresh and delightfully spiced…oh and a big satisfied sigh you will find abundant crisp fresh veggies. We still haven't made it to the Rice Paper Wrap platters that are the restaurant's signature offerings (on authentic platters special ordered from Vietnam) plied with more tender meat and less sprouts that sets them apart from other Vietnamese restaurants we are told but will give these a try on our next visit. Visually the plating is aesthetically pleasing… angular white plates, bowls, banana leaves, upscale chop sticks… and the pricing will make the wallet do a happy dance. Starters from $4.99 for Salad Rolls to $8.99 for grilled Satay. Soups that are full meal satisfying from $8.99 to $11.99 for the Thai Hot Pot. The Bún Bowls are $9.99 to $12.99 and at present the priciest entree will take you to $16.99 and offers prawns, squid, scallops and mixed veggies quite a deal.
This is my new comfort home cooking go-to restaurant. I leave well satisfied that I've eaten fresh and flavourful never feeling heavy and sluggish or reacting to hidden ingredients. I hope that Rice Paper finds a good following and a long life in the barren gastronomic wasteland of Edmonton's west end.