Tag Archives: Spice Temple

A tourist in my city – Spice Temple and The Waiting Room

5 Nov

I love being a tourist in Melbourne. We have lived away from the city for over 10 years now, but it still feels like my city. We don’t need to sightsee, just eat and drink.  The diversity of suburbs, the creativity of every place is like fuel for me, it is inspirational and I come home feeling energised and excited. This was one good 24 hours which also included Pope Joan in East Brunswick and North South Eatery in Richmond.  Just for fun.

Regular followers on Twitter would know that The Brewer is something of a master Sichuan cook.  We eat it about 4 times a week. So Spice Temple is something of a holy grail. We were there within a couple of weeks of it opening. We all met up in The Waiting Room,  another brand spanking new venue from the prolific Rockpool empire. Unbelievably sparkly and opulent, bling bling bling, I needed a lot more on me to fit in here!

The drinks list is, of course, spectacular.  Cocktails seemed appropriate here, I ordered a Queen of Diamonds Campari, Gin, Rosemary and Thyme Vermouth.

Then we meandered around the corner to Spice Temple.  We were a group of 5, which is a perfect size as everything on the menu is for sharing, so we were able to share about 10 dishes.  If we were just 2ppl, we may have felt challenged by only being able to order/eat a couple of dishes.

It is dark in there, really dark, like I had to feel my way along the walls to get to the bathrooms.  I suggest wearing a miners lamp!  Hence my pics are very dim. We started with the Tingling Prawns, not so spicy but beautiful fresh flavours.

Tingling Prawns

One of our favourite dishes was the hot & numbing dry wagyu beef.  The Brewer has mastered this dish himself, but this one was exceptional.  the texture of it, more shredded than sliced, really made it into something special.

The Kung Pao chicken was another dish that holds a special place in our heart, a recipe for this by Kylie Kwong in her My China book was one of the first we found and successfully made. 

One of the more interesting dishes was the spicy stir fried quail, peanuts & egg custard.  Amazing textures again.

One of the hottest dishes was this tofu in chilli sauce

The dish of the night was the Hunan style pork belly, crispy, melt in the mouth, spicy on piles of tiny sliced beans.

My dining companions, also ordered most of the sweets, which were very beautiful, especially the rose granita, and this one with iranian fairy floss on top. I am not much of a dessert person, and I am informed they were amazing!

A gorgeous night, we felt very glamourous. It was a very special night out.

A comment on the beer list.  The Waiting Room had 10 beers, a nice mix including some Victorian craft beers and interesting imports.  However 9 of them were lagers.  A little diversity in the styles would be appreciated by enthusiasts, but for the majority, it looks interesting.

At the Spice Temple fewer beers, but a craft brewed hefeweizen and the chinese Tsing Tao are good additions to a short but quality list.

Beer summary: Thoughtful, short, mostly lagers

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