Celebrating Chinese New Year at Spice Temple
Everything from the “hidden” door to the sumptuous dark red basement takes you away to a luxuriously decadent den in another dimension. And the food is always out of this world. Can’t think of a better place to have a Chinese new year feast, so here we are at Spice Temple. Eight of us, luckily!
It seems like it should be a cocktail night, so it is. The spicy ginger beer, lime and ketel one vodka of the Monkey is a great starting refresher, but it’s the passionfruit, chilli, spiced pineapple, lime and herradura reposado of the Tai Chi that is my favourite.
The Banquet begins
Four starters pile onto our table. Pickled Roma cherry tomatoes are darkly delicious in the dark soy, while Sichuan style pickled cucumbers and shiitake bring a fresh acidic touch. Raw tuna in spicy orange oil comes on a crunch of iceberg lettuce. There’s a nice visual trick as the pieces of Hunan style soy beef and pieces of beetroot look almost identical in the salad with crispy noodles.
Pippies and pork with shaoxing wine is a revelation. After growing up with bland pippi fritters at the beach, I wasn’t the biggest fan. But these pippies, with the richness of spicy pork mince, are as far removed from fritters as I can imagine. This dish meets my “I’d like to eat that every day” test, damn fine.
Spanner crab with mung bean noodles is not the prettiest dish, but wow, the amount of super soft, steamed spanner crab meat, with salted red and green chillies makes it a standout as well.
Here’s something I think the Spice Temple understand very well. If you’re going to roast your pork belly until you’ve got crackling, rendered fat and tender tender meat, and then pour over a hot, sweet and sour sauce, then I’m definitely going to eat it. And if you’re going to cook your richly hot wagyu brisket until it falls apart and serve it up with lucky money dumplings and baby eggplant, then I’ll be digging into that too. Add some eight treasure stir fried vegetables, and I’m going to call that dinner.
And there is always more
Except of course, there is a dessert to come too. Very pleased to discover its a nice light caramel ice cream cone with praline, cooling and not too sweet. Yep, thats a banquet alright.
Best bits: The pippies!
Worst bits: Nope, can’t think of a single thing
Where am I: Spice Temple, 10 Bligh St, Sydney 2000,NSW, Australia