Saturday, August 25, 2012

Five Spices, Hunters Hill

I'm a little intimidated by Hunters Hill. I have visions of Cate Blanchett-esq people (red carpet ready, of course) swanning around and little old me standing out like a sore thumb. So it was with a little trepidation that I organised dinner at Five Spices.

We entered, and my quick scan of the restaurant put me at ease. The extra time and care I took on my appearance had meant that I was far from under-dressed, although I did contemplate shoe shopping in the near future. Super-friendly service staff welcomed us to the homely space with some great decor choices.

Salt and pepper soft shell crab $12
Starter plate B (spring roll, satay chicken, grilled beef on eggplant) $12
Crispy pork belly and red curry paste with green beans $18.50
Flat rice noodles with sweet soy sauce (beef) $16.50
Trio of house made ice cream $10.50

I knew we were in for a good night as soon as I had my first bite of food. The soft shell crab was perfectly crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, but the best part of the dish was found in the addition of the glass of chilli lime sauce. Amazing! The combination of lime juice, fish sauce and chilli lifted everything to which it was added. Suddenly the crab was devoured, then the salad (with it's new 'dressing') disappeared and then when the plate was empty we couldn't stop so had some of the sauce itself.

The entrees all looked so good that we felt the need to order something else, so had a bit of a taster of a couple of options by ordering one of the starter plates. Hello more yumminess! The standout of this plate for me was the grilled sirloin with eggplant. I could have inhaled a plate of these, but boy couldn't pick a winner of the three and enjoyed them all.

Both the entrees we ate had elements of fabulous flavour combinations that excited me. I couldn't wait for more.

The flat rice noodles with sweet soy sauce were placed on the table and introduced as 'pad see ew'. For some reason I hadn't made the link between the English name on the menu and the Thai name that I'm accustomed to before that moment, but was happy to see an old favourite before us. While it was just as good as other pad see ews that I've eaten, with superb noodles and sauce, it was almost a disappointment after the excitement of the previous dishes.

Our food adventure returned in the form of pork belly. Mmmmmmmmm. Pork belly. Boy, ridiculous man that he is, isn't a pork belly fan, so this dish was ordered for my benefit alone. A thin layer of crackling goodness and then melty belly smothered in spicy curry. Now that's my idea of a happy place. Sadly, I was ridiculously full by this time, and if there was any chance of me having dessert, we'd need to take to some leftovers home.

The desserts on offer are a far cry from what I expected, with sticky date pudding one of the options on offer and at least 12 different house made ice cream flavours to choose from. We went with a trio of those ice creams, with peanut butter for boy, baileys for me, and then the white chocolate miso ice cream to round off our three.

I have no idea why I went with miso ice cream. I don't particularly like miso soup, but the idea of it with white chocolate was so intriguing that I found myself ordering it with confidence. When the three scoops appeared, my first spoonful tasted of miso. With my next spoon I could identify the white chocolate, and then the fun began. Boy and I started trying to put into words what it tasted like, and we both settled on 'cheese'. Somehow our white chocolate miso ice cream tasted like the childhood favourite of string cheese!

Each of the ice creams was beautifully smooth, and our 'safe' choices - boy's peanut butter, and my baileys - were both brilliant. Boy has decided that I'm a little bit smitten because I'm already planning our next visit.

Five Spices on Urbanspoon Five Spices
54 Alexandra St
Hunters Hill

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1 comment:

Simon Leong said...

i think i need to add that soft shell crab to my wish list now.