Lunch Thu-Sun noon-3pm
Dinner daily 6pm-11pm
Variety is the spice of spice at this most modern of Asian dining rooms. Neil Perry's ode to China's lesser-tasted regions is a story told with numbing Sichuan pepper, earthy cumin and no small amount of chilli. Kitchen smarts, however, ensure the burn never overshadows taste or texture. Calamari is furiously stir-fried "typhoon shelter-style" with chilli and finely minced garlic, while ginger and black vinegar underscore tender red-braised pork. Steamed rockling is prepared Hunan-style and accented by pickled and salted chillies, just as fat prawns are made magic by a salted egg sauce and four kinds of chilli. The setting is just as grown-up as the cooking, but don't think Spice Temple doesn't know how to party. Ibiza-style beats, spirited waitstaff and spice-sympathetic wines and cocktails keep things buoyant in the den-like basement. For those who like their modern Chinese a little quieter, return by day for à la carte dim sum and warm, just-set custard tarts.
Set menus $75, $95
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