On my recent visit to Sydney I had the pleasure of dinning at Neil Perry’s spectacular Asian offering, Spice Temple. Is there anything that Neil Perry doesn’t do well?
It’s basement location feels like you are descending into a mysterious red lantern lit world reminiscent of a Shanghai club in the 1930’s, but with a modern twist. The entrance, a digital silk curtain bellowing in the breeze was memorizing, and hinted at the sensory treat in store.
The culinary focus here is a modern take on regional China with a distinct avoidance of standard Cantonese fare. There is chilli for the chilli lovers, but also plenty of subtle flavours for those desiring a more mild experience. The food is designed to be shared and eaten banquet style, so go with a group to enjoy a bigger selection of dishes.
If you have a delicate palate when it comes to chilli, it’s good to note that the hottest dishes are printed on the menu in red.
I’ll preface this with saying that everything was delicious, but I’ll share some of the highlights of the meal below.
Click images to enlarge gallery.
Another delicious dish that shouldn’t be missed was the Steamed Lamb Buns, rich and subtly spiced with a perfect crispy pot sticker bottom.
And printed in bright red on the menu was the Kung Pao Chicken. Normally I’d be weary of this spicy dish, and probably not even order it because even though I don’t mind a bit of spice, I don’t want my head blown off by a big blast of chilli. But the beauty of a set menu is trying things that you might not necessarily order, and as hazardous as those bright red dried chillies looked, the dish was delicious and not overpoweringly hot. The idea is not to eat the chillies, but to enjoy the punchy flavour of them infused through the chicken. It’s all about balance, and in this case the balance was perfect.
Of course, as you’d expect from one of Sydney’s top restaurants, the service was impeccable.
If you are lucky enough to find yourself in Sydney and are looking for a very special dining experience, I’d highly recommend Spice Temple. Now a visit to Spice Temple in Melbourne is in order, I’ll add it to my wish list.
My Poppet was invited to dinner as a guest of Spice Temple thanks to Qantas
10 Bligh Street, Sydney
(02) 8078 1888
Yum Cha MON to FRI 12-3pm
Dinner MON to SAT 6pm