Bite-Size: A Short Interview with Rahmie Clowes
Celebrating a decade of flavours, trials and triumphs, Rahmie Clowes – owner of Melbourne institution, Rice Paper Scissors – joined us for a short interview.
Rahmie Clowes, the owner of popular Melbourne restaurant, Rice Paper Scissors, recently sat down for a candid interview reflecting on the restaurant’s 10-year journey. From the highlights of opening multiple stores to the lowlights of closures during the pandemic, Rahmie shares insights into the evolving nature of his business with a glimpse of the broader Melbourne hospitality landscape.
In The Interview
A Decade of Success and Resilience: Rahmie emphasises the joy of opening multiple stores as the highlight of the past decade and acknowledges the setbacks of closures – including the original Fitzroy store. Despite the challenges, he expresses a fondness for Fitzroy, a location that holds sentimental value.
Navigating Challenges During COVID-19: The conversation touches on the impact of COVID-19 on Rice Paper Scissors. Rahmie discusses the closure of Liverpool Street at the start of the pandemic and the subsequent challenges of relocating the restaurant across Hardware Lane. He reveals the resilience of the team during this period, highlighting the successful launch of Aunty Kim’s, a testament the restaurant brand’s adaptability.
A Spirited Collaboration with Little Lon Distillery: Reflecting on a collaboration with Little Lon Distillery, Rahmie shares the journey from their first expression to the second, intriguingly named Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster. He ties the name back to the science-fiction book and film, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, adding a unique touch to the restaurant’s offering.
Evolution in Business Strategy: The interview explores shifts in Rice Paper Scissors’ business strategy, from a time when lining up down the street was the norm to the current era of reservations and a more leisurely dining experience. This comment reflects a deeper structural change within the Melbourne hospitality community – still hurting from the pandemic – and emphasises the importance of adaptability in the restaurant industry.
Celebrating a Milestone: Rahmie sheds light on the restaurant’s Instagram competition for a chance to experience an epic all-inclusive function. Entrants are invited to share in 125 words or less why they deserve this exclusive celebration (more details are available on the Rice Paper Scissors website and Instagram). With over 400 entries having poured in, the competition has become a vibrant mix of humor, loyalty, and heartfelt stories.
Looking Ahead: Brisbane Olympics and Future Ventures: As the interview concludes, Rahmie tantalisingly hints at potential plans for the coming years, including the dream of a restaurant in Brisbane by the time of the Olympics. While specifics remain under wraps, he teases something special in the pipeline for the next year.
Rahmie Clowes’ candid reflections provide a glimpse into the dynamic journey of Rice Paper Scissors. From triumphs to tribulations, the restaurant stands as a testament to resilience, innovation, and the ever-changing landscape of the Melbourne dining scene. As they celebrate a decade in business, the future holds exciting possibilities for this beloved Asian restaurant group.