In the bustling fray of 50th & France, Rice Paper is a welcome oasis. The restaurant consistently delivers great Asian food in a pleasant, almost contemplative atmosphere. The surroundings promote quiet conversation among friends and family.
The restaurant features Asian cuisine with a contemporary theme, which not only tastes great but remains kind to the waist line. Eating light is easy here.
All this comes as no accident, owner An Nguyen has years of restaurant experience in the Twin Cities. A childhood in Vietnam instilled Nguyen with an appreciation for fine food and comfortable surroundings. Her knowledge of Vietnamese cooking and commitment to creating a good experience is evident in everything Rice Paper does.
Friendly service starts a meal off the right way with a warm, brimming smile and quick seating. The attentive staff follows the right pace for service. Rice Paper makes visitors feel at ease and at home. Even the weariest patron can’t help feeling comfortable in the relaxed atmosphere of the place. Large windows let in cheery indirect light on even on gray Minnesota days. The bamboo wall paper evokes the feel of a lush tropical forest. A small fresh flower alstroemeria arrangement in a cheery vase dots the center of each table. Gleaming wood tables and flooring complete the polished look. Contemporary minimalism abounds. Rice Paper exudes calm top to bottom in Asian décor inspired by feng shui.
The Delight of Eating Asian Light
A wide selection of carefully prepared Asian dishes makes dining a pleasure for lunch or supper. Rice Paper features Asian appetizers, soups, salads, noodles, rice dishes and entrees prepared with a healthy flair.
Appetizers include everything from spring rolls to dumplings and more. Grilled monsoon dumplings dipped in spicy sauce have a fresh taste with just the right amount of heat. The spring rolls are filled with fresh vegetables and wrapped in rice paper then topped with peanut sauce. The crispy fried Tofu Puffs served with Thai sauce, chopped peanuts and shallot crisps are a meatless marvel.
Entrees are also satisfyingly flavorful but light. True to its name, the Mekong Encounter has an exotic spicy tang full of Asian aromas. Thai red-curry coconut sauce over snow peas, red pepper strips and selected protein is served on a bed of fluffy white jasmine rice. Spicy to be sure but in that great-tasting Asian way.
The peanut sauce on the Twirling Chopsticks Noodles can run a bit thick, but for the true peanut lover this may be an advantage. The peanut sauce is good enough to drink and is sold in glass jars for home use.
Savory Pancake Perfection
Chinese Pancake Wraps pack everything good about contemporary Asian cooking into one dish. Delicate pancakes cloak a balanced combination of fresh crunchy vegetables and protein, your choice of chicken or tofu. The quartered pancake wraps are topped with thinly sliced purple and green cabbage, carrots, romaine lettuce, white yellow leaved Mung bean sprouts and crispy shallots. A sectioned tray of housemade peanut sauce, Thai sauce and Vietnamese sauce is served as a side. The three sauces add sparkle to the mixture of cool vegetables and hot meat or tofu. On more than one occasion, the peanut sauce was adorned by red smiley face of hot chili sauce. The sauces and loosely packed wraps make for messy eating, but the zingy, fresh taste more than makes up for any difficulty.
Many Pleasant Returns
It is so refreshing to eat an elegantly prepared, flavorful meal without any guilt about calories. Light Asian cooking at Rice Paper refreshes the body and the spirit. This is what keeps the Edina Eater and so many others coming back for more.