Anyway we had a bit of a wander up and down the strip. We marvelled at the massive queue outside Lucky Chan's and wondered why. Decided against joining them as there were too many pushchairs and hand held infants.
I encouraged Steve to go with Spice Temple as we've been wanting to try it and it didn't look too busy. Plus spicy food may mean less kiddies...
We asked if they had a table for two and they acommodated us. Our waitress apologised she couldn't give us a window seat but they were all booked out. We didn't mind and for the majority of our meal we had our little corner to ourselves.
The air smells of incense as befitting to it's moniker. The lighting is dim and there's an aura of pink around. The decor is pretty classy - opium den meets temple meets China and I think it would be a really nice date place on an evening.
After much deliberation over the menu, we opted for the $49 per head lunch menu as it seemed to offer a good choice of dishes we'd want to try. We also went for an extra quail main course as Barley and I can't resist a good quail dish.
Service was friendly and efficent and our wine and water glasses were kept topped up. Dishes were brought out quickly and the rice bowl replenished when necessary.
The next little appetiser was king prawn wonton with aged black vinegar dressing. We got one of these each and I could have eaten more. Such a tasty little morsel with a thin dumpling skin, tasty filling and lovely vinegary and soy ish dipping sauce with some fiery chilli oil floating in it. Delicious.
The quail was actually minced and to be honest could have been any meat at all as it didn't taste particularly quail like. Having said that the flavours were awesome in this dish and the crunch of the peanuts added richness. The savoury egg custard soothed away the fire of the chillies and added a moisture to the meat. This was great mixed in with rice - comfort food at it's best.
This was pretty spicy but we couldn't help but want to eat more. Maybe it was the chillis releasing endorphins. It's definitely a happy dish. The flavours are exciting and the challenging chillis stretched our spice tolerances to the edge but the edge was a fun place to be!
The three shot chicken was heated on a gas stove behind us. Our waitress showed us the three shots - Tsingtao beer, chilli oil and soy and suggested we go for half the chilli oil given we'd maxed out on the spice levels from the previous dish. She poured all three shots into the claypot and let it bubble away on the stove for a few minutes before bringing it to us. The yellow bean sauce was salty and savoury and soaked into the shitake mushrooms. Again, a great dish with rice.
Chairman Mao pork is brased belly pork cooked to tenderness and the fat rendered into a gelatinous pulp. Again highly flavoured, slightly sweet this time. The stir fried Chinese broccoli provided some much needed veggie intake and the crisp clean flavour of it was a welcome contrast to the the highly spiced flavours we'd had so far.
We could not eat any more and all we wanted to do at this point was roll out of there all the way home and to the sofa to sit! We asked for the bill and were also given two little almond cookies which we ended up eating in spite of not being able to fit anything else in and they were deliciously crumbly.
Thoroughly enjoyed Spice Temple - if any friends of our's say they like spicy food, we'd definitely recommend them to come here.