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Monday 10 April 2017

A very tasty dinner for $9.90

Melbourne's Chinatown. Dining solo. Looking for cheap and cheerful. So many choices. 

Fortunately, I choose right tonight, discovering the Rice Workshops chain. 

It's basic in the extreme. You stand in a queue to make your order, move along the line to pay, then seek a vacant stool at which to eat. 

I order a spicy chicken karaage; crunchy lightly battered chicken pieces served in a big bowl with spicy mayo, steamed rice, salad and crisp pickled vegetables. 

The large portion is hearty, the chicken crisp on the outside, moist inside and mayo tangy and moorish. 

A soft drink costs $2.60, Japanese beer a little more. You help yourself to plastic forks and spoons, chopsticks, various sauces and chilled water. 

Should you still have room for dessert, some green tea soft serve costs $2 or is free if you can show a student card. 

My dish was surprisingly good; better than at a number of far more expensive eateries. 

Other rice, curry and udon noodles options include kimchi beef, chicken katsi curry, and tempura prawn udon, all available for under a tenner. 

Any snack (think spring rolls, pork gyoza or a spicy squid skewer) is $2.50 or $3.90 with a can of soft drink. 

So tasty Japanese-accented food, fast service and a studenty ambience. Who'd have thunk it from a chain with a dozen or more outlets. 

Check out the Chinatown outlet. I was impressed. Hopefully you will be, too. 

Rice Workshop, 238 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000. 

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