Spice Temple – Asian Fusion with Spice

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

– Chinese Year Themed Drinks Menu
– Jasmine and Green Tea
– Ox – Buttermilk Yoghurt with Fresh Mango and Rose Petal
– Rat – Lavender Tea Soda with Hand Picked Mint
– Fried Salt and Pepper Silken Tofu with Spicy Coriander Salad
– Kung Pao Chicken – Sichuan peppercorn, heaven facing chillies and cashews
– Fish Drowned in Heaven Facing Chillies and Sichuan Peppercorns, Leatherjacket Sichuan Style
– Fish drowned in Heaven Facing Chillies and Sichuan Peppercorns, Leatherjacket Sichuan Style without the Chillies
– Hot and Numbing Crispy Duck
– Hot Pot of Fresh Shitake, Oyster, Enoki and wild Chinese Mushrooms, Yunna style
– Hunan Style Crisp Pork Belly with Fresh and Dried Chillies and Mushroom Soy
-Stir Fried Grass Fed Beef Fillet with Wok Blistered Peppers and Black Bean
– Stir Fried Spinach Sichuan Style
– Rose Granita with Fresh Lychees and Strawberries and Almond Milk Jelly
– Almond Milk infused Rice Pudding with Candied Fruit
– Caramel Chocolate and Peanut Parfait

SpiceTemple is Neil Perry’s foray into Asian cuisine. SpiceTemple has two branches – the first of which was opened in Sydney and later in Melbourne. The Melbourne venue resides at the Crown Entertainment Complex and has taken over from where Bistro Guillaume used to be. The look and feel of the restaurant is very dark, exotic and has hues of red and gold. Together with this there are solid dark wooden tables and low lantern like lights hanging over the tables. It gives a somewhat classy underground den like feel.

I went here for a group dinner with some friends and we got a variety of dishes to share – this is how the menu is designed – to share. We were impressed initially by the drinks menu – there was a100 wine menu list and they explain in 100 words why they have this many wines – innovative! There are also drinks created for each animal in the Chinese Year (refer to picture above). Being born in the year of the Rat – I had to try out the Year of the Rat drink of course. The drinks consisted of Lavender Tea Soda with Hand Picked Mint which was fresh and flowery. Another drink I tried was the Ox – Buttermilk yoghurt with Fresh Mango and Rose Petal. The Ox drink was absolutely amazing especially because I love mangoes – the creaminess of the buttermilk mixed with the mango definitely works! The only negative is the glass is half full and you want so much more. I guess this is their trick to keep you ordering more.

Prior to coming to eat at Spice Temple, I had read a review where the Fish drowned in Heaven Facing Chillies was mentioned as a must try and wanted to try it out. When the dish came out, all you could see was the heaven facing chilli’s just covering the whole dish (as you can see from the picture above). The waitress then removed these chillis, of which the fish had been “drowned” in to reveal the fish. The fish was spicy and the added peppercorns added the extra zing that you are made to feel on your tongue and your lips. It was a flavoursome dish and we all quite enjoyed it.

In fact, most dishes here at SpiceTemple include these peppercorns which give you that feeling. The initial reaction is “wow – this is quite an interesting experience,” however, once you get over that, to keep having that tingling sensation is a bit over whelming and annoying. You sometimes simply just want to eat your food and enjoy the flavours.
The Hot pot of Fresh Shitake, Oyster, Enoki and Wild Chinese Mushrooms, Yunna style was delicious. The mushrooms come out on a plate pre-cooked and you are shown by your waitress the different types of mushrooms, before they put it into the hot pot to cook in front of you. The broth had an added spice which meshed well with the mushrooms.

Dessert time consisted of Rose Granita with Fresh Lychees and Strawberries and Almond Milk Jelly, Almond Milk infused Rice Pudding with Candied Fruit and Caramel Chocolate and Peanut Parfait. The Rose Granita I had was fantastic. It had just the right amount of Granita to fruits and jelly. The combination of lychees and strawberries was unique and mixed well with the almond milk jelly. The flavours of rose and almond together gave you a creamy dreamy after-taste  The Caramel Chocolate and Peanut Parfait was like a circular snickers bar, and the parfait had the right amount of sweetness and consistency.

Overall, the atmosphere and environment were fantastic, although it could use a little bit more light. The dishes were good but not great and for the pricing is a bit on the high side. If you are a spice lover this would be the restaurant for you, however like I said before the tingling sensation of the peppercorns was a bit overwhelming . The drinks and the desserts were the winners here, but being a Neil Perry restaurant you would expect a bit more.

Rating : 2.5 Pandas
Price: $$$
Menu – A la carte – http://www.spicetemplemelbourne.com/wp-content/uploads/Main-Menu.pdf and Yumcha Menu – http://www.spicetemplemelbourne.com/wp-content/uploads/Yum-Cha-Menu1.pdf
Fullness: 80%
Atmosphere / Ambience: Dark, cosy and intimate.
Standout Dish: The Hot pot of Fresh Shitake, Oyster, Enoki and Wild Chinese Mushrooms, Yunna style
Service: Good Service and the wait staff were happy to assist with any questions we had. They also can recommend which dishes work well together according to the spice tolerance of people.
Online Booking:
Restaurant Details and Location:
http://www.spicetemplemelbourne.com/
Crown Complex,
Ground Floor, Shop 7
8 Whiteman Street, Southbank
Tel No: 8679 1888

Opening Hours:
Lunch (Yumcha)
Monday to Sunday:  12pm to 3pm

Dinner:
Monday to Sunday:  6pm to 11pm

Spice Temple on Urbanspoon

The Atlantic – THE Freshest Seafood!

The Fresh Oysters on Display

Oyster Island Inlet – Tasmania

Roasted Cauliflower – Onion and Almonds

Thrice Cooked Russet Potatoes – Rosemary, Garlic, Sea Salt

Wood Fire Grilled King Fish – Wilted Witlof, Ruby Grapefruit, Mint, Coriander, Blood Orange Reduction

Pan Roasted Hapuka – Braised Green Lentils, Sauteed Mushrooms, Jus Gras

The Atlantic is newly opened restaurant at the Crown Entertainment Complex which can seat up to 300 guests over many different dining areas. The Atlantic is the brainchild of Donovan Cooke and shares an “Ocean to Plate” philosophy.

The venue is set in stylish tones of blue and grey and draws on inspiration from the famous New York meat packing district as well as the  hustle and bustle of the fish markets, together with New York’s Grand Central Station. This is evident in the naming of the Private Dining options as well – The Engine Room, The Cabins and The State Room (descriptions about and the capacity of each room can be viewed at http://theatlantic.com.au/the-atlantic/dining/private-dining. There is a mixture of glass and wooden panels which really adds to the nautical feel and does make you feel like you are under the sea.

One of my two favourite things about the design and layout of this restaurant is the selection of Fresh Seafood that is on display from the outside for people walking past the restaurant. This selection changes daily as does the menu. The extensive selection of Australian wine is also on display. My second favourite part is the impressively sized open plan kitchen where you can see the chefs preparing your meals. It is easily one of the biggest kitchen’s I have seen in a restaurant!

Just when you think this place cannot get any better – venture on downstairs to The Den. The Den is an intimate lounge area where you can get together with a group of friends for amazing drinks. They do some of the best mocktails I have had (refer to the picture of the drinks above). The Den is styled with white leather couches along the length of the room together with different styles of chairs and a classy fireplace. It stays true to its name and is an underground escape away from the busy city night life.

Now onto the food – to put it simply – it is the FRESHEST and FLAVOURSOME seafood I have had and in my opinion lives up to its “Ocean to Plate” philosophy. I was impressed from the moment I walked in till the time I  left. My drink was a mix of passionfruit and pineapple with a hint of tang which was both refreshing and revitalizing. The oysters were fresh and the vinegar and shallot dressing was the right amount of tang. The sides of Cauliflower, Onion and Almonds changed my opinion of the vegetable Cauliflower as I have never really been a fan – but the flavours in this dish made me want to give this vegetable a chance. The fish was definitely the best dish of the day. I had the Wood Fire King Fish and the smokiness was just the right amount and the fish was still juicy with no dryness in site. The Blood Orange Reduction isn’t one I’ve seen coupled with Fish but it definitely suited the smoky woody flavour – in one word AMAZING!

The prices might be a little bit dear – you are looking upwards of $35 for a main serving for fish – but you really need to visit The Atlantic and try it out. Be it a special occasion or a group dinner with some great friends this restaurant will definitely impress. I can’t wait to go back and try the Oyster Bar out. The only reason this restaurant hasn’t gotten 5 pandas is because I ran out of time to try out the selection of desserts. Once I do however, I will re-assess the rating.

Rating : 4 Pandas
Price: $$$$
Menu – A la Carte Menu – can be found at http://theatlantic.com.au/static/files/assets/de52daec/21102012_DINNER_MENU.pdf
The Dessert Menu – can be found at http://theatlantic.com.au/static/files/assets/22c7f28f/13102012_DESSERT_MENU.pdf
The Oyster Bar Menu – can be found at http://theatlantic.com.au/static/files/assets/9e8e83d3/18102012_-_Food.pdf
Please note the menu changes daily.
Fullness: 100%
Atmosphere / Ambience: Stylish and Classy. It feels like you are in New York and under the sea all at the same time.
Standout Dish: Wood Fire Grilled King Fish – Wilted Witlof, Ruby Grapefruit, Mint, Coriander, Blood Orange Reduction
Service: Friendly, Helpful and definitely on the ball!
Online Booking: Yes via website – http://www.bookarestaurant.com/details/The-Atlantic-Restaurant/3287?ref=BAR03287R
Restaurant Details and Location:
http://theatlantic.com.au/the-atlantic
The Riverside at Crown
8 Whiteman Street, Southbank
Tel No: 9698 8888

Opening Hours:
The Atlantic Restaurant
Lunch and dinner : 7 days

The Oyster Bar
Sunday-Thursday: 12pm – Late
Friday-Saturday: 12pm – l.00am

The Den
Monday to Sunday: 5.30pm-3.00am

The Atlantic on Urbanspoon