Red Silks is hidden upstairs in a Chinatown arcade. It is a pleasant surprise to find this restaurant perched above a busy city shopping strip. You can dine on the large verandah. It will give you a view below of Bourke Street.
Inside, Red Silk has a funky ambience. Look up and you will see twig installations and colourful Chinese lanterns. When we last wandered into Red Silks, it was a hot night, and we had been revelling in the White Night festivities. We escaped the crowds around Swanston Street and headed to Chinatown for a late night dinner. Red hued lighting over dark wooden furniture, hip young Asian staff and quick inexpensive food! I felt a bit like I was in Hong Kong.
Red Silks has an extensive menu of Chinese, Malaysian and Indonesian food. I can’t resist the Assam steamed crispy-skinned barramundi. It is a whole barramundi and the Assam sauce is a tantalising sweet and sour sauce consisting of okra, tomato and pineapple. The spinach and shitake mushroom dish is also a must. Actually, anything here with shitake mushrooms is succulent! As for Hubby, he happily orders the chicken in chilli sauce dish (kungpo chilli sauce) here. Prices are reasonable. For instance, the kungpo dish is $18, the barramundi $26.80 and a vegetable / tofu dish is $16.
Red Silks’ kitchen is open from 11am until 10.30pm Sunday – Thursday and 1.30am on Friday and Saturday. The bar is open until 11.00pm Sunday – Thursday and 2.00am Friday and Saturday. Someone there likes gin: there is a line of empty Bombay Sapphire bottles along the wall!
How to get to Red Silks
Enter the MidCity Arcade which is a pedestrian arcade running between Little Bourke Street and Bourke Street. It is in the block between Swanston and Russell Street, and close to Russell Street. You can enter the arcade from either the Little Bourke or Bourke Street entrance. Near the Bourke Street entrance you will see a flight of stairs on the Eastern side of the arcade. Head upstairs to the first floor. Turn left and you will find Red Silks.