Rice & Dough: Carb-ivore Heaven

One thing that was missing—in my six years working in McKinley Hill—was a restaurant serving up good sushi. For some reason, only the ramen fad had reached this commercial area at first; Ukkokei and Ramen Bar ventured, but only the former has survived. When Nihonkai Tsukiji opened in Tuscany, we finally had a reason to trudge up the dining lane other than Ukkokei’s dependable miso ramen (and set lunch). Then, Tokyo Tokyo arrived in Venice Piazza, and we scrambled to line up for their—no, not sushi—sumo meals, a tried-and-tested option for hungry yuppies. But Rice & Dough sprouted out in Venice Grand Canal Mall and it totally rewired my Japanese cravings and inclinations.

Rice & Dough is, in the strictest sense, not a Japanese concept—from its name alone, one would say that it’s all about carbohydrates. The folks behind the successful Torch Restaurant has decided to put up a unique endeavor in the Venice Grand Canal Mall—currently an insanely popular spot for selfies and, soon-to-be, a major entertainment and dining hub once the mall fully opens. As the clever name suggests, Rice & Dough specializes in sushi and pizza—or rice and bread, or Asian and Western, if that’s how you interpret it. All of the above are correct.

Part of Torch’s menu made its way to Rice & Dough, but the chefs threw in creations that are exclusive to this restaurant. The pies, although not brick oven-made, are wonderfully executed, with variants that would satisfy any craving. The sushi rolls, on the other hand, let you take a peek into the playful minds of their inventors.

Those who love sushi would be delighted with the variety that Rice & Dough offers—arguably not “authentic”, but rather modern takes on the classic Japanese dish. My favorite—the one I always have to order no matter what—is the Inception Roll (PhP329.95/8 pcs), made of three layers of spicy tuna in between layers of rice, finished off with a deliciously tangy jalapeno cream sauce. Never did I go to Rice & Dough without having this. The second placer is the Truffled Bacon Cheeseburger Sushi (PhP449.95/6 pcs), which is configured like a burger—rice layers for buns, bacon, cheese, and beef patty, punctuated with truffle oil. Delish!

The Perfect Catch (PhP339.95/8 pcs) is Rice & Dough’s signature sushi and is a popular choice among diners, I was told. No doubt—the fresh salmon and cream cheese roll enveloped in nori triangles are so good. A lot of effort was put into this dish: the roll was sheathed with panko crumbs and deep-fried, before being served with bonito flakes and unagi aioli. I have also tried the Electric Unagi Roll (PhP324.95/8 pcs), which is made from unagi, cream cheese, and cucumber, served with fried wantons.

Craving for something off-menu? Rice & Dough offers a DIY Sushi option for PhP495.95, where you will be given a DIY sheet and select a style, 4 fillings, 2 toppings, and 2 sauces from a list of ingredients. I had lots of fun making my own sushi—and, as you would expect, my creation had bacon, unagi, salmon, cream cheese, prosciutto and arugula (yes) in it. And for the sauce? Why, spicy mayo and truffle oil of course!

For the pizzas, my number one choice is the Funghi (PhP479.95), which is a simple creation of shiitake, porcini, and Gorgonzola. I don’t like pizzas with too many toppings, so this one—and variants similar to margherita—are my usual picks.

A pizza as simple as the abovementioned is elevated tenfold by Rice & Dough’s homemade chili oil, an addicting, mind-blowing, slightly spicy, herby elixir that you would want to pour all over your pizza, mouth, body, and everywhere. Trust me, it’s as life-changing as Gino’s spiced honey.

The Prosciutto Focaccia (PhP349.95) is a hearty choice—freshly-made focaccia dough filled with prosciutto, mozzarella, and tomatoes. For those looking for something hefty and filling, this is a must-order.

There’s also a DIY Pizza option for people who would like to be more adventurous with their toppings. I personally think that Rice & Dough’s selections suffice already, though. (And, to be honest, I only need THAT CHILI OIL.)

Another reason why I keep coming back to this resto is their Quinoa Rocket Salad (PhP364.95), which is a healthy dish that could convince all the Fat Kids Inside to eat quinoa. The mixture of tomatoes, arugula, red onions, feta cheese, and sesame dressing is just so well-made—I’m hooked! Other good stuff to try from their starters list are the Crispy Nori Chicken Wings and the Parmecorn.

Incomplete without meat? Get the Grilled Salt & Pepper Meltique Rib Eye (PhP879.95) and indulge in its beautiful alternating layers of meat and fat. The steak is prepared tableside, and you can specify the done-ness you prefer. It comes with a choice of parsley rice or risotto.

More carbs? Choose from Rice & Dough’s pasta selections and satisfy that craving. The Chili Shrimp Aglio Olio (PhP344.95) is a light yet delicious option—a simple dish of shrimps, olive oil, garlic, and some chili to perk it up a bit. End your meal with even more carbs—a Red Velvet Cake or a Crème Brulee Cake perhaps?

I know a lot of people—myself included—who turn to sushi, pizza, and pasta for comfort, and Rice & Dough couldn’t have done a better job at putting up a place like this in McKinley Hill. It’s good to know that everytime I need to indulge in something familiar, try something new, pat myself on the back, or treat someone close to my heart, an obvious choice is just a short walk away.

Rice & Dough
G/F Venice Grand Canal Mall, McKinley Hill, Taguig City
11:00AM – 11:00PM
Budget: PhP350 up

What’s your ultimate comfort food? What do you think of Rice & Dough’s concept?

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