There's a lot to whinge about in our industry. We work the weekends, the nights, the Mothers Days, Fathers Days and the Valentines. We're there to make you birthdays, anniversaries and other special occasions great, stress free and fun even though we miss out on our own. We extend our already hideous working hours to cater to the big days in the year, the ones that are most important, where everyone wants to relax and spend quality time with their loved ones- forsaking our own. Its tireless, unforgiving, impatient and thankless for the main part.
But not Christmas.
We've worked Christmas days before, we've served the people.
These days Christmas is off bounds. We'll not entertain the idea. Its a small ask but it's my personal favorite time of the year!! This year, for the first time in many, we've treated ourselves to an epic, power eating pentathlon.
We've planned a two and a half day Sydney extravaganza consisting only of eating, drinking and naps - three of our ultimate pass times. Before you judge, our schedules don't allow us to eat out a lot, so we're making up for lost time..
First stop SPICE TEMPLE. After we found the door:
Neil Perry, you've nailed it. I promised myself I'd be cool at our day one lunch, knowing our starving little bodies were in danger of going too hard, too fast. I Lied. We didn't get too far in before I knew we were in trouble, the smell was incredible. Dumplings here we come!!
The menu. This was difficult. It all read amazing and from what we could see from neighboring tables it all looked pretty fantastic too. Thankfully just about everyone else in the restaurant seemed to be enjoying many courses so we did not hold back.
An amateur, I didn't write down everything we had, or even photograph the days menu, we did devour a serious array from the menu, it was all delicious and we enjoyed enjoying it, rather than documenting the occasion.
That I can remember, as I'm sitting on my couch, sipping on local wine, was the tastiest Tuna dish I've ever consumed. Described as having a 'Orange Chili Dressing' we didn't find an overwhelming orange flavor as such but it was incredible, if not the highest highlight of the trip. The seriously fresh, sashimi tuna was dressed in what we would describe as being a shellfishy, chili dressing. It was zesty, it was umami. I'd go again and get a whole plate if it wasn't for how good everything else was that followed. Our Prawn Spring Rolls were crisp, the hand rolled dumplings were everything you want in a dumpling, small but well proportioned meat to (house made) pastry. With condiments that were sweet, salty and my fav, fermented chili. The Chow Mein was flavorful and with its perfectly cooked, hand rolled noodles and house made Oyster Sauce set itself apart from any I've had before.
Wine matching was a top priority! The unpretentious list of 100 bottles boasts every bottle has fought hard for its position. Riesling is the obvious favorite and with help we select one from the Clare Valley that was a perfect balance that held its own and complemented the wide variety of flavor that lay before us. A banana Side Car and a Mango Rice Pudding later an we're pretty much done for the day. Or at least until we can squeeze in a nap..
Next stop NOMAD Surry Hills..
To Be continued