Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Spice Temple


On the Saturday night we went to Spice Temple, Neil Perry's newish restuarant in the city. I was very excited. It's been awhile since I've been to one of his restaurants but I can still remember what I've eaten there. The first time I went to Rockpool I was still at uni and I looked like this (though normally my hair was much bigger) and went with my then boyfriend Sean. He borrowed the shirt especially.

Rockpool, now twenty years old and in a new location is upstairs. Spice temple is through a funky door and down lots of stairs like a glam opium den, with no opium (well, certainly not at our table) just very good food.
Craig and Lou joined us and we decided what to select. We looked at the banquet then decided to make our own choices. I was distracted by the cocktails which were all named after chinese astrological signs - Horse sounded good and Lou wanted to order a carafe of Pig.
The waitress told us that the kitchen would decide what order to send the dishes out in. So we had he following:
Steamed Eggplant with three flavours (garlic, coriander and sweet pork - is there any other kind?)
Tea Smoked Duck breast with pickled cabbage and Chinese mustard
Fried Squid with whole five spice and dark chilli paste
Northern style Lamb and fennel seed dumplings
Fried mud crab with whole five spice
My favourite Stir fried Quail with peanuts and steamed egg custard (spicy crunchy creamy and it was)
Guangxi style roast pork belly with coriander, peanuts, red onion and sesame seeds
Stir fried David Blackmores' wagyu brisket with baby eggplant and chilli
Stirfried spinach sichuan style (with very hot, hot chillis)
and then the very nice couple next to us ordered the delicious lamb and cumin pancakes and so we had to have those too. The waitress laughed and told us we had food envy. And we did, we had it bad. Even though we were pleased with our choices, we couldn't help eyeing off other people's meals and asking them what they were having. Luckily they didn't seem to mind.
And I had dessert which was strange and probably a mistake and we all had lovely tea, mine was a Jade tea. It was a beautiful meal. The flavours where so balanced and everything was presented in these gorgeous ceramic bowls and plates.
For anyone interested there is a website where you can download and peruse the menu or even read Neil's blog about the restaurant. There are also some recipes like the one for the pic at the top (Spice Temple Lamb with Salted chilli)
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