Heartbreakingly good food from Margaret Xu Yan

Written on 11th October 2010
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Last night we did a dinner at Spice Temple with the wonderful Margaret Xu Yuan from Yinyang restaurant in Hong Kong. She has a small place that specialises in Organic farmed produce and inventive cooking.

I must apologise for not taking many shots and there are none of her dishes except the salt crusted chicken and all you can see is the salt. We were to taken by making the service flow and by the time we realised the damn camera had been sitting there all the time it was too late. 

However let me tell you the dishes were brilliant. I love the thought behind them and most importantly the taste.

She did a slow cooked barramundi with green olive and preserved mustard green salsa, with extra virgin olive oil and fried rocket as a garnish and the added texture of green beans tossed in garlic oil was wonderful, such a great flavour, modern and after all that very Chinese, who would have thought that such a modern approach would still have you firmly rooted to Hong Kong.

If that was good the next dish was staggering!  Salt-baked chicken with wild ginger and curry leaf dressing, served on fried noodles to soak up the sauce. This was a very new taste.  Again extra virgin olive oil featuring in the dressing, not very Chinese but somehow it made perfect sense. The chicken was so tender and fragrant I just loved it. It has inspired me to add salt baked chicken to our 24 hour menu once we get Spice Temple Melbourne up and running. 

The wild ginger reminiscent of kachi was so perfect and, as Lindy Milan said, so different and unexpected but at the same time it tasted wonderful. 

Margaret and assistant Kevin thank you for such a wonderful night. Andy and the amazing team thanks for making the Spice Temple food look so good.  Baci well done with you floor team. What a great night. 

I can’t wait to see Margaret down in Melbourne in March when she comes back for the festival. You are a beautiful chef and very generous with your time.