Spice gods

February 2009

You have to admire his courage. Neil Perry (with partners Trish Richards and American multi-millionaire David  Doyle) has just taken a $35 million gamble on a new Chinese restaurant in the basement of the old City Mutual Life Assurance Society building. Spice Temple (10 Bligh St, Sydney, Ph 8078 1888), according to the blurb, “pays homage to and draws inspiration from the provinces of Sichuan, Yunnan, Hunan, Jiangxi, Guangxi and Xinjiang”. Early this year there’ll also be a Rockpool Bar & Grill in the same site. It’s a big gamble.

“Don’t remind me,” Perry was quoted in The Sydney Morning Herald. “Even the financial world guys have stopped coming to lunch these days.” I would have thought especially the financial world guys — is there still a financial world? So the question is, who’s going to eat (probably) excellent (almost certainly) expensive Chinese food in a basement of a building slap-bang in the heart of the financial district?

As when any new and bold restaurant opens, we wish Spice Temple well. We’ll watch with interest and try to get there before the next column.

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