Chinese

Spice Temple, Again

6/02/2013 11:24:00 PM

Spice fried chicken wings with heaven facing chillies - $25
Spice Temple
Crown Complex
8 Whiteman Street
Southbank 3006
Ph: (03) 8679-1888
Website
Spice Temple on Urbanspoon

I know, I know, you're probably all sick of me going on about Spice Temple, but it's just so good! We've been a good dozen times now, the most recent visit being for my birthday in April, where we enjoyed a fantastic meal. We often go there for dinner with friends, when we want something a bit special, with unusual and inventive food in a nice environment, that's not too expensive. We've pretty much always enjoyed it. The only exception to this (and I suppose it's a big exception), is their Yum Cha, which as I mentioned in a previous post, I found to be disappointing and extremely overpriced compared to their dinners. However, I'm (obviously) a big fan of their dinners and can heartily recommend them! Today's post is going to be a photo-heavy one, sharing the different dishes we've tried over our many visits. The photo you see at the top is one of my favourites: spice-fried chicken wings with heaven facing chillies. The chicken meat is so tender, and is covered in a lightly crisp zingy spice coating (which I'm sure has ground Sichuan peppercorns in it). So delicious.

N.B. the menu seems to change quite regularly, so some of these dishes may no longer be available.


DRINKS

I always like starting a meal here with a lovely cocktail. They have a sharp wine list (exactly 100 wines!), but I can never go past the cocktails. Let's have a look...
Sheep - blanco tequila, sesame, ginger, agave and cinnamon-sugared orange - $18

Left: Rabbit - London dry gin, green apple, jasmine tea soda and salted cucumber - $18
Right: Horse - Jamaican rum, fresh pomegranate, lavender and citrus - $18

Rooster - Aperol, limoncello and fresh passionfruit - $18
Dog - Rye whiskey, Grand Marnier, mint and orange - $18

Gentleman’s Espresso - Single barrel Tennesse whiskey, five spice syrup and fresh espresso - $18
They've sadly changed the Pig cocktail now - that fabulous mix of lychees, gin and sparkling wine served in a carafe is no longer available. I asked them about it once, and apparently one of the ingredients was super labour intensive, so they took it off the menu. Usually, though, they're happy to make up a lychee-based cocktail for us. (Having said that, on my most recent visit when we asked for a lychee-based cocktail, we were very curtly told by the waitress: "You can have the Pig, or you can have the Dragon" - neither of which had any lychee! Er, what?)
Lychee-based cocktail

Lychee cocktails

FOOD
Entrées

Cabbage and radish pickle - $8

Crispy pork belly slider - $9 (per piece)

Silken tofu and preserved egg salad with soy chilli dressing - $18
You may remember that I made a version of this tofu at home, after enjoying it so much at the restaurant!

Shredded lamb shoulder with salted chilli - $18
Bang bang white cut chicken - $19
I love the spicy oily sauce of the bang bang chicken (it used to be called "strange flavour chicken"; I wonder if they changed the name to help sales?) It seems like a waste not to finish the sauce, so last time we ordered some steamed bread pockets to go with.

Steamed bread pockets - $2 each
Lamb and cumin pancakes - $16
Caramelised pork spare ribs - $29

These pork ribs, like the chicken wings, are one of the heartier entrées. I totally love the sticky, sweet sauce! (They're quite similar to Fuchsia Dunlop's sweet and sour spare ribs).


Mains 
Handmade egg noodles, Hunan style with smoked bacon and chilli - $18
Crispy Chow Mein American Chinese style - $22
We ordered the crispy Chow Mein as my birthday noodles, and they were great! The noodles were really light and crispy, with parts going wonderfully soggy as they soaked up the savory, minced beef sauce.

Crab tofu - $35
Whole fried and steamed snapper with chilli and sichuan pepper - $39

Stir fried quail and peanuts with steamed egg custard spicy, crunchy, creamy - $38
The stir-fried quail is really, really impressive. The minced quail is strongly flavoured with a mixture of chilli, sour and numbing Sichuan pepper, spring onions and peanuts, and sits atop a very smooth steamed egg custard. For me it was quite an unusual dish, but very delicious and definitely worth ordering!

Crispy skin chicken with black vinegar sauce - $42

Hakka Pork Belly - $38
Hot, sweet, sour and numbing pork - chilli, sugar, black vinegar and Sichuan peppercorn - $38

Vegetables

Stir fried wild bamboo pith, snow peas and quail eggs with ginger and garlic - $19
Stir-fried corn with smoked pork and chives - $12

I have to be honest and say I ordered the stir-fried corn out of curiosity, and was surprised by just how good it was! It didn't feel particularly "Chinese" to me (although I think our perception of Chinese food in Australia is very different to Chinese food in China!), but the flavours worked together beautifully, and complimented the other dishes we'd ordered. Corn, bacon and chives: what more could you want?


Dessert

Chocolate and cherry candy bar - $6

A friend of ours ordered the chocolate and cherry bar one night - it was okay, but not particularly memorable. It was also really small, and didn't seem worth six dollars.

Much, much better is the caramel chocolate and peanut parfait. I can't come to Spice Temple without ordering this dessert! It's really rich though, definitely one to share. (On our most recent visit, we'd had a huge meal, and actually shared one between six of us - just a few bites each to finish the meal).
Caramel chocolate and peanut parfait - $18



They bring out these super light and crisp peanut cookies at the end of the meal, which I totally love too.
Peanut cookies

Do you have a favourite restaurant that you visit over and over again? Do you have a favourite Spice Temple dish that I haven't tried yet?

You can read about my other visits to Spice Temple here:


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7 comments

  1. I've been meaning to head back. But ever since I lost my $200 gift voucher to dine there, it's been too heartbreaking to set foot nearby!

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  2. I-Hua - NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! You poor thing! :(

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  3. We love it there too! We also enjoyed the yum cha too :) I wish we had room for dessert though-they look great!

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  4. Despite my fellow Asian friends saying that Spice Temple serves 'overpriced food catering to gweilos', I really do love Spice Temple. I've only been once but would love to try it again.

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  5. Yummm :) I went ages ago for Chinese New Year dinner and we really enjoyed it just never got around to blogging about it hehe so bad of me~

    I seriously want to try that caramel and peanut dessert! I know it's new on the menu hehe

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  6. My mum always cooks stir fried corn :)

    I really need to head down to Spice Temple, I still haven't eaten there.

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  7. "[S]omething a bit special, with unusual and inventive food in a nice environment, that's not too expensive" <- That's, what, the holy grail of eating? GO SPICE TEMPLE.

    One day I will go to there and I will order cocktails and the peanut butter desserts, all to myself. Maybe the tofu with preserved egg in between.

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