design: Grant Cheyne, in association with David Nock of 1:1 Architects
Photography: Earl Carter
The Rockpool Group’s Neil Perry, Trish Richards and David Doyle have launched their latest restaurant, Spice Temple Melbourne, at Crown, and their sixth venture in Australia.
Based on the winning formula of its Sydney sister, Spice Temple is a modern Chinese restaurant that is driven by a philosophy that incorporates the traditional values of the best possible service with a deep respect for the highest quality produce.
Designed by former Bates Smart architect, Grant Cheyne, in association with David Nock of 1:1 Architects, the arrival experience of Spice Temple is one discovery and surprise and although more conventional than the Sydney precedent, it is a theatrical journey through a sequence of spaces.
Located over two levels, the two dining rooms and two semi-private dining rooms are warm and dramatically lit, and while there is an emphasis on comfort and experience rather than a certain theme, the spaces are intimate, relaxed and sexy, with subtle influences of the exotic street hawker food markets in China.
The arrival experience at Spice Temple is one of discovery and surprise and although more conventional than the Sydney precedent, remains a theatrical journey through a sequence of spaces.
There are warm, dramatically lit dining areas defined by a perimeter of timber ‘curtain’ and music specially selected for the restaurant by Anton Monsted is played over a high quality sound system.
Rawness and simplicity reverberate throughout the understated fit out, and there is an emphasis on comfort and experience rather than a certain theme, decor or iconic statement.
Over two floors, spaces have been made intimate and seating fairly dense to enhance the atmosphere and relax the mood. The dramatic, theatrical lighting and screening devices create a sense of personal space and privacy.
All furnishings, decorative light fittings and joinery were custom designed for Spice Temple, and newly commissioned ‘second generation’ photographic portraits by Earl Carter embellish the atmosphere.
“I am delighted to have been invited to participate in the development of the Melbourne incarnation of the successful Sydney restaurant which I had earlier developed with Bates Smart. Spice Temple Melbourne is unique although in this case I did not want to drastically depart from the popular fundamentals. However, I did take the opportunity to fine tune a few details and turn-up the eclectic feel”, says Cheyne.