Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Spice Temple, Southbank

Stir fried Spanner with whole garlic, chilli and coriander -- $55

Handmade yellow noodles with Wagyu braised brisket, chilli and Sichuan pepper -- $24

Stir fried corn with smoked pork and chives -- $14

Stir fried quail and peanuts with steamed egg custard spicy, crunchy, creamy -- $38

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

Three milk cake with pomegranate and pistachio -- $18

Caramel, chocolate and peanut parfait -- $18

I was so excited about coming to Spice Temple after hearing so many people rave about it. It was a place I resisted for a long time because the price was incredibly expensive to me, especially for Asian food. I'm the same with true blue Italians who hardly ever pay for an expensive Italian meal at a restaurant for so many reasons I'd rather not say. That said, I finally decided to give it a go when my good uni mate who's moved back overseas was here in Melbourne that week for a short trip.

In short, I found Spice Temple to be very, very overpriced. Taste of the food was really underwhelming. We only enjoyed 2 out of 7 of the dishes we ordered, especially disappointing when we paid $75 per person for the meal (without drinks). It is so damn rare that I spend that much on a meal, but if it's a rare occasion (like my friend visiting from overseas) and the food is good, I'd say it's value for money. But in this case, it wasn't.

The spanner crab was clean, fresh and beautiful. But it was $50 for a tiny plate. Fair enough, as they shelled the crabs for you as well. Noodles was beautiful. Slippery and flavourful, but there was barely any meat/Wagyu in there. Corn was way too salty from the smoked pork and though the egg custard was smooth, I make egg custard like that at home almost every month. 

The famous numbing pork was the most disappointing of all as I feel like they didn't even get the basics right. Sauce was good, but the pork was so tough, dry and overcooked. Plus, the batter didn't stick to the pork at all and was completely separated from the meat. I'm sure it was just our experience that night as I believe other people when they tell me it was good when they came. In terms of dessert, the milk cake was ridiculously sweet and nothing else. I was looking forward to the parfait but was hoping it had more crunch, which I found it lacked.

Again, we struggled to enjoy 5 out of 7 of the dishes. Very shocking for a 2 Hatted restaurant. I really wanted to say that I enjoyed the food here as I think it's good to have a Modern Asian restaurant with a setting as nice as this in Crown but I didn't. Anyway, hope that this experience was a one time thing and others have better luck with it than me. Doubt I'll come back.

Spice Temple on Urbanspoon

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