10 Bligh St Sydney, NSW 2000
|Opening hours||L Mon-Fri; D Mon-Sat|
|Features||Accepts bookings, Bar, Business lunch, Degustation, Events, Groups, Late night, Licensed, Lunch specials, Long lunch, Private dining, Romance-first date, Yum cha, Wheelchair access|
|Prices||Expensive (mains over $40)|
|Chef||Neil Perry, Andy Evans|
|Payments||Diner's Club, eftpos, AMEX, Visa, Mastercard|
|Phone||02 8078 1888|
Ruby red lanterns, dramatically spot-lit tables, jazzy music segueing into a late-night groove: Spice Temple's Shanghai-speakeasy setting showcases China's sophisticated culinary diversity, with a modern menu roaming from the far north-western frontier to the southern border with Vietnam. A hearty Hakka braise of anise-scented lamb stars gloriously soft shoulder meat, while strange flavour white-cut chicken is rolled and sliced in a peanutty, glossy, unctuous sauce. Chillies done four ways - brined, dried, fermented and pickled - coat plump, stir-fried prawns in a tantalising balancing act. Less cohesive was stir-fried wild bamboo pith, which was short on bamboo and long on snow peas and coriander leaves. Dishes marked in red are hot, but are bearable for Western palates, and savvy waiters will suggest half portions which, while not half price, are still generous. Desserts include a funky chocolate and peanut parfait and a classic mango pudding. Finish with a fine Chinese tea from a wonderful list.