The rice repertoire of the average cook probably stretches to risotto and paella, maybe even kedgeree and jollof, and probably pudding. But the starchy grain is proving inspirational to a number of creative culinary minds at the moment, who are treating palates to new preparations with rice.

Ramdane Touhami is the man who reinvigorated 374-year-old candlemaker Cire Trudon, invented ‘heritage’ brand Buly 1803, designed accessories for Korean label Hazzys, and now, within his new Buly 1803 store in Paris’ Marais, brings us a take-out bar, called Nani Koré, serving western-style onigiri. This Japanese rice staple is usually stuffed with the likes of salmon, kombu and tarako, but here is fused with cross-cultural flavours such as merguez and keft, and is also available in sweet versions featuring chocolate, coconut and toffee apple.

Crispy rice
New LA establishment Kismet is fusing flavours of the Levant with local twists and flavours, and its crispy rice with egg yolk has become a bit of a showstopper. Taking its roots from Persian rice dish tahdig, this version has been tweaked to include currants soaked in verjus and toasted pumpkin seeds. As an added twist, there are also two oozing egg yolks in the centre.

Rice wine cocktail
Rice has been cropping up in east London bars as a cocktail ingredient. Tony Conigliaro’s Untitled Bar serves a sake drink whose rice flavours have been amplified using the lees, while at the 7 Tales cocktail bar at Jason Atherton’s Sosharu restaurant, the star turn is the Turnmills Rice Wine, a martini-style cocktail made by stirring uncooked sake into gin until cloudy. The starchy liquid is then strained off, mixed with Cocchi Americano and topped with sesame oil.

As originally featured in the November 2017 issue of Wallpaper* (W*224)