R-Ice Cafe Serves Up Hong Kong Style Treasures!
Here at Elk Grove Tribune, among other things, the Elk Grove Community knows and loves us for our food reviews! Recently, I visited R-Ice Cafe at 8347 Elk Grove Florin Rd #12. Below is my review! Enjoy!
I walk into a clean, tidy, newer-looking establishment. Instantly, I am greeted by Alisa, mother of the owner of Hong Kong-style restaurant known as R-Ice Cafe. Despite the language barrier, her eagerness to connect with me eased my mind as I pulled out Google Translate to ask her more about the restaurant. This casual dining locale still had tables and chairs up, meaning, for now, they were following county regulations of not permitting indoor dining. In fact, they were only doing take-out due to being unsure if they can seat guests outside legally. Despite this, Alisa possessed the most polite customer service skills, even showing me a special video an agency made regarding the production of their Hong Kong Milk Tea. We chatted as she showed me how the drink is made the traditional way, differing not just in color but flavor too, compared to what one may find as Milk Tea at other cafes.
The menu was so different from most Chinese Restaurants! Desserts had a fancy, upscale feel to it! The items and photos of food honestly reminded me of my days living in Japan full of colorful desserts and hot-plated, steaming, sizzling dishes of goodness. I could not quite figure out what to order as there were so many unique dishes. Baked Bacon and Sausage with Black Pepper Sauce, Sizzling Chicken Sausage, Salisbury Steak with Bacon and Egg, Meatball Congee, Sweet and Sour Cutlet Fish Fillet were all items I was considering. Should I choose the Salt and Pepper Tofu or Chicken? Did I want Hong Kong Style Baked Rice or Spaghetti–I know. Spaghetti, in a Chinese restaurant???
You should know that their dessert options are almost equal in variety to their regular menu. Hot Desserts like Taro Soup with Coconut Milk topped their list along with Black Sticky Rice with Mango in Coconut Milk, Green Bean and Seawood Sweet Soup. In contrast, their Cold Dessert items included favorites such as Red Bean Pineapple with Grass Jelly, Toddy Palm Red Bean with Sago, and Mango Gigi. I wish I could say that’s all, but if you’re not in the mood to try something different for a dessert, they have the standard ice cream as well as mochi.
After probably 30 minutes of staring at the options and going back and forth, I went for it: Hot Chili Oil Wontons, Hong Kong Baked Chicken and Rice with a Portuguese Sauce, Salt and Pepper Tofu, and the Garlic Hot Chicken. In addition, how could I forget? A Hong Kong Milk Tea and Hong Kong Lemon Tea.
While waiting for the food to arrive, I sipped on the milk tea. Sweet, but not overly sweet, more orange in flavor, and hands down the tastiest milk tea I’ve enjoyed. The tea flavor was light, not overpowering at all! Let’s be honest, I am not much of a tea person, so for me to say that, I HAVE to really enjoy it! Moving on to the lemon tea which looked so pretty in the cup, I felt bad drinking it, but it was refreshing to say the least!
The food was brought out fairly quickly in the usual takeout containers, but as I opened them up, the roasted garlic smell made my mouth water. Every dish looked better than the next! But, how would it taste?
I sat down and debated which dish to try first. Well, since the Hot Oil Wontons were an appetizer, I dove in and took a bite, savoring the spice and deliciously stuffed wontons. Disclaimer: If you cannot tolerate spicy food, have R-Ice Cafe put the chili oil on the side in a separate container. I, however, can handle ghost peppers and still say it wasn’t spicy enough. That being said, I can see why these are a favorite for regulars!
Next up, I go for the Salt and Pepper Tofu. Oh, my word. The seasoning on this needs to be sold! The fried garlic, jalapenos, seasoning, all combined – a party waiting to happen! Despite the tofu being fried, it isn’t too greasy at all! Next, I aim for the Garlic Hot Chicken. Can you tell by now I like spicy food? This is my favorite dish now, despite thoroughly enjoying the wontons and tofu. The batter was light, and not excessive to the point where you wonder if it was chicken you were paying for or just flour coating. I devoured half this plate but knew I needed to save space for my last dish, the most interesting-looking one of the bunch.
I unwrap the next dish: Hong Kong Baked Chicken and Rice with a Portugese Sauce. I have NEVER seen or heard of a Portuguese Sauce before so I was excited to try something new, especially being a foodie. You can tell, it didn’t look like the most appetizing dish, but I know not to judge before tasting. I carefully scoop out a portion that includes chicken, rice, and the cheesy topping. WOW. I was shocked at something that looked so ordinary could pack such a punch.
The chicken blends in so well with the rice, and it is topped off with what tastes like a creamy, thick curry and cheese mixture. I take back what I said about the Garlic Hot Chicken being my favorite dish. Obviously, it is only because I had not tasted this one yet. I take another bite from the top, this time tasting as much of the sauce as possible. I’ve never quite had anything like this. It is a mix between cheese, coconut and curry, but the flavor was incredible! I highly recommend ordering this or really, anything with the Portuguese sauce when you visit.
Sadly, I was stuffed full of food, so there was no room for dessert! There is always next time, and next time happens to be Tuesday night!
This is the type of restaurant my family would return to over and over to support a local restaurant. I observed the customer service, generosity, and compassion Alisa demonstrated while serving us and was blown away. Her attitude and positivity during such a difficult time for most restaurants blew me away. I admire the compassion she showed to diners and how quickly she makes “friends” with regulars as well as newcomers. If you’re looking for a mouth-watering experience dining on familiar yet unique delicacies, R-ICE Cafe is the one for you! Please stop by and tell them I sent you!
8347 Elk Grove Florin Rd #127
Sacramento, CA 95829