As I write this, liquid sunshine is falling and my mind is wandering to food. In particular to my latest crush, Rice Boi at the wharf Mooloolaba on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland. We’ve only met that once but it was love at first bite. The Wharf Mooloolaba is a classic old venue that is enjoying refurbishment and you can read about the latest two restaurants to join in the revival, namely the joint Rice Boi and Saltwater restaurants here.
What You Will Find in This Post
Rice Boi ticks Many Boxes
It’s great to see another child friendly restaurant on the Sunshine Coast. Rice Boi has both indoor and outdoor seating and the kids will probably appreciate the Rice Boi menu. But with sister restaurant “Saltwater” next door there is also the option of ordering something simpler, like a chip butty or a burger.
Rice Boi has a separate Vegan Menu
Our (vegan) daughter was visiting and I’d heard Rice Boi had great Asian food, was on the water and had a Vegan Menu. It was the winning Trifecta. It didn’t hurt that they are related to Junk, another of my other favourite Asian Restaurants in nearby Maroochydore. You have to ask for the vegan menu and I think they have gluten free as well.
Arrive early to beat the dinner time rush
We arrived around 5.30 pm, our plan being to sit on the deck, have a few drinks, watch the sunset and enjoy the company – my Sis-In-Law was with us too. And we did. There aren’t that many tables on the deck and we put two together along the edge. A nearby river tour boat serenaded us with decent music. Our bottle of wine came in a bucket of ice. I was liking this place more and more and I hadn’t even ordered yet.
Enjoy sunset from the deck.
Different sized meals at Rice Boi
I like that you can have either a meal, smaller tapas sized plates or a mix of the two. Marty prefers a meal, but I love sampling a few different things, especially if I’m new to the menu. With a drink safely in hand our minds turned to food.
I love a good chip – but had never tried an Eggplant Chip before this. We ordered them from the vegan menu, but they also appeared on the regular menu. I was busy wondering how an eggplant chip could not be soggy, when they arrived all light and crispy and piled on top of a delicious sauce. If I was at home I may well have dragged my finger through that left-over sauce. Maybe I did. Who knows? The plate was full but no-one considered raising an Iphone until there were just two big eggplant chips left.
I am a dumpling fiend, so of course I was going to order them, but on the night they were outshone by the crispy panko coated calamari. I have had ciguatera poisoning not once but twice, so steer clear of ordering fish, but I have a green light permanently stuck on Calamari. Taste, crunch and texture and another great sauce.
Rice Boi’s Calamari is top notch.
The marinated tofu Sumo Bao (yes it’s one huge Bao) comes with pickled daikon, shallots, house made vegan mayo and red dragon sauce. Daughter is still raving about this Bao bun.
There was another crispy vegan tofu dish in another oh so tasty sauce. Cassie suggests ordering a side of rice to better enjoy that sauce. She’s a well brought up girl.
Our Crispy Pork Belly Bao were normal sized and served three on a plate. We were tempted by the Pulled Pork Bao blackboard special, but were very happy we chose the Pork Belly Bao on the menu. Tasty, beautifully tender yet crispy pork and the texture of that bun!
All eyes descended onto Marty’s meal of crispy Pork Belly and Pancakes when it arrived. If SIL and I hadn’t already gorged ourselves silly we may well have ordered another to share. Cassie started plotting how to turn it vegan and Marty just settled in smugly. He did offer us a taste – he’s nice like that – but we showed restraint.
By the time we left, the place was packed inside with a line-up out the door. I recommend arriving early as we did to minimise time spent ordering at the bar.
The food mimics street food, but don’t be misled into thinking it’s not great quality. We loved the vibe of the place, the graffiti, the friendly staff, the Bintang – you’ve got to do it.
Mains are around $20, small plates around $10 and that is great value.
After dinner we left our car in the carpark and walked a short distance down Parkyn Parade and along River Esplanade to Mooloolaba Esplanade. The Esplanade was action packed even though it was mid-week with lots of options for after dinner coffee and gelato. We unexpectedly bumped into friends from North Queensland perusing a menu board on the Esplanade. Of course we told them about Rice Boi.
Asian Restaurants Sunshine Coast
Rice Boi is one of the best restaurants on the Sunshine Coast but there are other Asian Restaurants we’ve tried and loved also. One that has the most amazing Beef Pho, that you should really try is Nguyen Bros. Vietnamese Restaurant Maroochydore.
More things to do on the Sunshine Coast
While on the coast we suggest you visit Coolum Beach and Eumundi Markets or walk along the beach at Mudjimba to Pincushion Island. If you’re looking to walk off a few calories and get some stunning ocean views a Noosa National Park walk from Sunshine Beach to Noosa is one of the best things to do on the Coast.