QQ Rice Cafe
by David Sutton
QQ Rice Cafe
Shop 1 G/F, Conwell House,
34-38 Stanley Street,
Tel 2107 9989
Grub: Japanese-style rice-based snacks and salads plus a small selection of sandwiches and macaroni dishes.
Vibe: Bright with a fast-food ambience. It's a small, friendly place - perfect if you're a bit peckish but want to avoid the crowds and calories of bigger burger places.
Who to bring: A good place to hang out with friends after school and take advantage of the red rice mini tea sets.
What's hot: There are six different types of rice: red, purple and brown plus mixed-grain, wheatgerm and Ice Lake gourmet. These are wrapped around 15 different types of fillings. Each rice roll weighs in at about 260 grams and is slightly bigger than a cricket ball.
The crab leg with vegetables is highly recommended. This is a blend of purple and mixed-grain rice wrapped around black fungus, dried pork floss and seaweed - as well as crab and vegetables, of course.
The shrimp with asparagus and the chicken with dragon fruit are also worth a try. The menu also gives nutritional information about each roll, including data on calories, fat, carbs and sodium.
Half of the choices are vegetarian. If none of them take your fancy there is a range of sushi rolls featuring eel, shredded burdock or the classic California made with purple rice.
The salads on display are covered with cling film and look rather sad but they are actually made to order and are crisp, fresh and generous. The only disappointment was the wasabi tuna salad, with the wasabi delivered in a standard small sachet rather than a dressing as expected. The desserts are mostly cakes and mousse. The melon cheese cup was pleasant, though not spectacular. There is a range of healthy soya bean drinks and organic teas.
What's not: Take care eating the jumbo rice rolls - they can sometimes collapse, sending rice and filling tumbling down your front.
Cost: The most expensive item on the entire menu is HK$53 so even people on the tightest budget should be able to ease their hunger pangs. The jumbo rice rolls are HK$24 to HK$35. Add HK$7 for a combo, which includes a hot drink. Add a further HK$8 and you can also have a soup, dessert or garden salad. Sushi is HK$22 to HK$28. Salads are HK$22 to HK$48 and desserts HK$16 to $18.