Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from 2016

Spice Temple

Spice Temple  Neil Perry's Fine Dining Chinese Restaurant at Crown, Southbank, Melbourne
It's considered an institution in Melbourne, and with a chef to its name like Neil Perry, a location like Southbank, and an existence of six years in the Melbourne restaurant scene (when staying power is notoriously elusive), it's no wonder. Spice Temple's name is a pretty accurate description of the restaurant: food heavy in spices and spiciness; a dim space with a sort of hushed reverence.



The quiet tone of Spice Temple (Shop 7, Crown Complex, 8 Whiteman Street, Southbank) could well be due to its design. With lots of dark wood and more traditional red and gold carpet, one might be forgiven for thinking it's a little dated. What keeps it current is the symmetrical and perpendicular fittings, creating neat squared-off eating nooks, and the dark, felt-like soundproofing material spaced out overhead, muffling any white noise.



Walking into the restaurant's reception area, yo…

Milk the Cow

Everyone likes cheese, right?

OK, except maybe the lactose intolerant, and some people are averse to blue cheese. I love it all. Aside from one bad experience when I ate far too much camembert one Christmas and was subsequently quite ill, I will usually happily eat ALL the cheese, all the time. And yes, I am aware it's not terribly healthy, but pffff, I don't care (much), and yes, I am also aware there is a old wives' tale that cheese gives you crazy dreams... Awesome! Bring it on.



In 2012, St Kilda was all abuzz with the opening of Milk the Cow (157 Fitzroy St, St Kilda), a 'licenced fromagerie' - which I take to mean 'cheese shop that sells alcohol'... unless you need some kind of special licence to sell cheese? (Apart from unpasteurised cheese - which I'm pretty sure is illegal - I don't think you do.) Intriguing. A bar that sells cheese? Or a cheese shop that lets you drink? Eat/drink in, or out? I was interested to check it out, but never actua…

Pierre Roelofs Dessert Evening

A few years ago, when I lived northside and spent a lot of time around Smith Street, I first heard of pastry chef Pierre Roelofs' dessert degustations, then held at Fitzroy's Cafe Rosamond. (I've since heard they were previously at Monsieur Truffe's former Smith Street site.)

The idea was you paid a set price (around $50.00 each, from memory) for a set number of courses of dessert only. Yes, DESSERT ONLY. I remember being impressed by (a) the concept of a degustation comprising solely desserts (if you're a sweet tooth too - admit you're also in love with the idea), and (b) the variety explored within such a constricted genre - sometimes focused around certain ingredients, or catering to certain food requirements (e.g. lactose intolerant, vegan). Possibly, the variety was to make it more interesting for Roelofs, or more inclusive for potential customers ...but it just all sounded really clever. Roelofs is Kiwi-born and trained in Switzerland for some years. He …

Mister Jennings

Named for children's author Paul Jennings, this baby in Richmond's on-again off-again hospitality wasteland of Bridge Road is one for the real foodies. It is the solo venture of Head Chef Ryan Flaherty, who has stinted at world-renowned restaurants El Bulli and The Fat Duck, then jointly brought Northcote's The Estelle to foodie fame along with then-business partner, Scott Pickett. Flaherty's passion, creativity and refined skill is evident in his food, and indeed the whole of Mister Jennings (142 Bridge Road, Richmond) is a pretty schmick affair.



It's an unassuming shopfront in amongst the retail section of Bridge Road, near the corner of Lennox Street. Mister Jennings had been on my restaurant hit list for so long that by the time I got there, I'd managed to avoid the 'just opened' crowds, and aside from maybe three other tables, we had the place to ourselves. Then again, it's not a massive restaurant, and it was mid-week in late March -- and to b…