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Dec 12

Spice Temple

Spice Temple is another of Neil Perry’s restaurants. You enter through a big door, on which they’ve mounted a huge television screen showing a billowing curtain. You then travel down a stairwell into a bar area. The eating area is to the right and is unlit, except for a lamp hanging over each table that illuminates food like a spotlight. You need to squint through the murkiness when you talk with your dinner companions. This is a place for intimate meals, rather than large groups.

“It’s Chinese food, but as long as you don’t think it’s Chinese food, it’s pretty good,” was how Spice Temple was described to me. It’s a pretty good description. Doing a fine dining take on Chinese food is a somewhat risky endeavor. The cuisine and its fans don’t often lend themselves well to pomp and circumstance. While you can get the occasional expensive dish, price is often no indication of quality, and the service and décor of a restaurant is relatively uniform regardless of where you’re eating – the focus is on the food. Spice Temple puts a bit of a spin on traditional Chinese dishes, and it does it quite well. It’s just pricey for Chinese food.

The plate of pickled cucumbers was pretty addictive, and the tea smoked duck was tasty. They also did a different spin on the ol’ sweet and sour pork – but it was still ultimately sweet and sour pork. The standout for me was the lychee granita dessert (but then again, it’s not hard to impress me if anything has lychee in it).

About $200 for a party of 3 (3 courses, shared dishes, not including drinks). Spice Temple has 2 hats from the 2013 SMH GFG.

  5:05am  •  Food  •   •  Tweet This  •  Add a comment

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