When Red Rock Deli first hit supermarket shelves in the late 1990s, it was a revelation to our taste buds. Previously, Australian chip lovers had been limited to a handful of boring flavours. Red Rock Deli showed us there was more to life than Plain, Salt & Vinegar and BBQ, ruffled or thin. Its latest attempt at haute-crisp cuisine kicks things up a notch with such fancy-sounding ingredients as saffron, champagne vinaigrette and wasabi cream. We put each flavour to the test.
Red Rock Deli's Special Reserve range are being described as an "ultra-deluxe potato crisp". They come in three flavours: Champagne Vinaigrette and Shallot, Creamy Saffron and Sage and Wagyu Beef and Wasabi Cream.
The chips are currently available at Woolworths, IGA and independent supermarkets in 150g and 65g pack varieties. Naturally, we plumped for the big boys which retail for $4.49. This is a premium of around $1 compared to Red Rock Deli's regular chip range.
Creamy Saffron & Sage
Red Rock Deli's Special Reserve Creamy Saffron & Sage potato chips pack in 570kJ of energy, 6.5g of fat, 17g of carbs, 1g of sugar and 141 mg of sodium per serve. We should point out that a "serve" constitutes around one fifth of a 150g bag which sounds pretty unrealistic to us. (You'll probably need to double these numbers.)
Like the other entrants in the Special Reserve range, they have a subtler flavour profile to other Red Rock Deli chips: but there's also more complexity to what taste is there.
To be honest, I couldn't tell you what "creamy saffron" is supposed to taste like -- but these chips reminded me of Red Rock's Grilled Chorizo & Caramelised Onion flavour. Which is to say, they're finger-lickingly tasty, but best enjoyed in small doses.
Taste Verdict: 7/10
Wagyu Beef & Wasabi Cream
Firstly, points off for pretentiously invoking "Wagyu beef". (We guess Angus was already taken.) Red Rock Deli's Special Reserve Wagyu Beef & Wasabi Cream flavour contains 445kJ of energy, 7g of fat, 17g of carbs and 107 mg of sodium per serve.
Of the three new flavours, Wagyu Beef & Wasabi Cream was easily my favourite. Unlike its Special Reserve brethren, it does't taste like a tarted-up version of a pre-existing flavour. The two key flavour elements are distinct and actually recognisable.
My only complaint is that the wasabi flavouring could be a smidgen stronger: if you're looking for a hit of mustardy heat, you won't find it here. Otherwise, this is a delectable crisp that lives up to its "Special Reserve" branding.
Taste Verdict: 9/10
Champagne Vinaigrette & Shallot
Red Rock Deli's Special Reserve Champagne Vinaigrette & Shallot flavour tastes exactly like Red Rock Deli's Sea Salt & Balsamic Vinegar, but with less flavour. (To be fair, I actually really like Red Rock Deli's Sea Salt & Balsamic Vinegar, but this Special Reserve iteration ain't worth the premium.)
Taste Verdict: 7/10
Have you tried the new Red Rock Deli 'Special Reserve' Potato Chip range yet? Tell us what you think in the comments!