Good for groups!
Value for Money: 7/10
I am torn on this one. Yes, it was enjoyable, but no, I wouldn’t give it two hats.
I liked the atmosphere despite expecting something more intimate. It gets quite loud, but I suppose it kind of works well with the Chinese feast theme. The restaurant is relatively dark, which I don’t mind because the one light above each table is focussed on the food; it makes the dishes stand out beautifully.
We started with the hot and fragrant prawns in entree size. It was good, the chilli was potent, slightly sweet and a bit smoky, but nowhere near overwhelming. This is exactly how chilli should be used. This is a good dish for people who are not too adventurous.
Same can be said of the crispy skin hot and numbing duck. This was outstanding! Crispy but incredibly moist at the same time, it had absorbed all the flavours of the delicious sweet and spicy sauce. The duck was quite fatty but it did enhance the flavour.
We also had the snake beans with pork and xo sauce. It was good but I probably would have preferred it meatless to counterbalance the other dishes.
We finished off with the beef hotpot entrée size (and it was huge!). We enjoyed how the waiter prepared the hotpot at our table and took time to run us through the ingredients (silky tofu, chinese pork sausage, iceberg lettuce, garlic shoots, chilli, fungus and wagyu beef) and cooking method. The experience was worth a try but we might have appreciated it better if we had had more appetite left. The best part of the hotpot was the fungus which apparently grows at the bottom of bamboo sticks. It had a very spongy texture and worked wonders at soaking the spicy broth. I could have had more of it!
I’ve got a bit of an issue with all these hot and numbing dishes though; after a while my tongue was so numb that my sense of taste was disabled! By that time we were, in any case, way too full for dessert. Smaller portions would have given us the opportunity to try more dishes. But then, one could argue that we should have taken one of the banquet menus. Yes, maybe we should have!
The drinks menu is impressive. I was fully satisfied with both the champagne Bollinger and the Sancerre I picked out of the 100 wines on offer. The cocktail list is attractive too.
The place seemed understaffed as we occasionally had trouble grabbing the waiters attention. That said, they were full of very good advice when we managed to get a fraction of their time. I am keen to return with a larger group to sample more dishes (and maybe more adventurous ones).
- Most dishes can be ordered in entrée size as well as main size
- Two banquet menus on offer
- The portions tend to be quite large. If there are only two of you and you hope to try a number of dishes, the banquet menus should be considered
- 100 wines on the menu
- Extensive list of cocktails
- Recommended for groups
- Private dining rooms available
Spice Temple – Basement, 10 Blight Street, Sydney 2000 – http://www.rockpool.com/sydney/spice-temple/