Pork Belly Tattoos

CAPI x Rice Paper Scissors

Just in time for its first birthday, we talk to Tom Speechley – bar manager at Fitzroy’s Rice Paper Scissors about Mekong whiskey, pork belly tattoos, using your hands, and one too many Singhas.

You guys have just turned one, what was here before?
Used to be a place called Cafe Nova, still get people asking us for lattes – so Mario’s gets the brunt of our coffee orders. They do a pretty good job

So what’s the joint about?
We do South East Asian cuisine, although ironically enough given the name we don’t actually don’t do any rice. We do it tapas style – sharey stuff. We use the hashtag #useyourhands on our menus and Instagram, think that kind of says what we’re about?


Drinks? Do you try to tie it into the menu?
Yeah, one of the big things we do is herbs from Asia. Kaffir lime leaves in the sugar syrup, Vietnamese mint, Thai basil, stuff like that. Bit of Mekong, bit of SangSom rum.

Any favourite regulars?
Have a guy who came here for lunch, had a few too many Singhas, and ended up stumbling back for dinner. Sid and Simone are in three times a week, spend three hours at a time – most people are only in for an hour or so, they call me Sunshine which is always nice.


Weirdest thing cruising past the window?
The guy in the van… The spaceship van when we knock off is pretty out there. Always interesting when we’re knocking off.

Biggest selling drink?
Probably Singha actually, Singha beer. The Thai Sangria goes really well, we just threw it together one night and it flew out – got it on the menu now. Junglist Massive does well. Cumin syrup, bit of dehydrated mango. Chew the mango, sip on the drink.


Tinder Dates?
Ha there’s a bit of a game we play, who’s on a date, who’s not? Seem to mainly be seeing the same couples coming back though, so maybe the Tinder dates have worked too well?

We only play the sort of stuff we’d want to listen to. Afternoons get a bit cruisy, Saturday nights get a bit rowdy though – we all have an input though.


How many staff members have tattoos based on this place?
Six! Five of us have sticky pork belly tattooed on us somewhere, and our fearless leader even has the Rice Paper Scissors logo tattooed on his forearm.


Rice Paper Scissors

Can be found at 307 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy
Buzz them on 9486 0066 
Tag them in your Insta shots @ricepaprscrs
Don’t forget to #useyourhands

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