It has been almost a year since my last visit to the Spice Temple and I wonder why it has been such a long interlude between visits. You know you're onto a winner when you see me blog about a place twice...so another year, another dinner.
Despite only receiving 1 "chef's hat", the food here in my opinion is some of the best Chinese to be had. This place stands apart from the rest by deviating from the so so boring, Cantonese cuisine that is more often than not branded as "Chinese". Yes Cantonese cuisine is Chinese, but seriously, it gets pretty damn boring sometimes.
Firstly, the restaurant space is dark but the silouhettes of coloured glass looking onto Southbank create the perfect space for a dinner. It is indeed, a super sexy space. Secondly, the service was effortless and impeccable, all done with a smile (I know, WTF?! waiters and waitresses smiling, WTF! indeed) It is interesting that the Neil Perry empire could have such different restaurants as my last visits to Rockpool left me less than impressed. But I am so glad, the Spice Temple works.
The kitchen, was phenomenally fast which suited us just fine, if not better than fine. So, this was majorly bonus points for Spice Temple!
I won't talk about the food too much as I've posted about this place before, all you need to know is that everything we ordered was what it should have been. No mismatches in flavours or textures. We ended up ordering their tingling prawns, steamed eggplant, crispy pork belly with smoked tofu, shanghai style tofu and crab soup, hot and numbing crispy pork, green lip abalone with mushrooms, steamed lobster with ginger and shallots, choy sum with garlic, and a few desserts.
Notable mentions go to the cold eggplant dish, shanghai style crab and tofu soup and the "hot and numbing" crispy duck. They are serious about the hot and numbing, probably more than last time (or maybe my tolerance has dropped) but damn, was it delicious. Oh and of course, if you can't deal with "heat", don't order the hot and spicy dishes - they aren't being dramatic when they say it's hot. I do note that their lobster this time round was much much better than what I remember. Much better. I don't understand where all the bitching and moaning about this place in other reviews comes from - because, this place is ace.
Indeed, I do love the Spice Temple and so should you.
Spice Temple, Crown Casino Complex, Melbourne