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Now that we have our sea side adventures out of the way, it’s time for us to try a little mountain life. Like top o’ the range, can see for fifty kilometers to the Pacific Ocean (good to keep an eye out for sea born invasion), king of the hills type business. Git right up into them thar hills and do what any holiday going family in our situation would do; Try out local fare, the local fair and local fair maidens… cos that’s just how you gotta roll when you’re on holidays! Well that’s how I gotta roll. The boys on the other hand… The boys have been hell bent on skating every skate park in a 50km radius, and doing it at least twice, more like thrice, a day. Which in turn means I am re-acquainting myself with my skateboard too. I used to be able to work a wheelie board with a certain amount of prowess, but to say my skills are now a little rusty would be a rather incredible understatement. I’d say my skills have corroded so far back they were reforming into heavy metals on the elemental table. “But what does this have to do with Spirit House Restaurant my friend?” I hear you ask. “Absolutely nothing,” would be my reply. And then I would throw down a smoke bomb and amazingly vanish before your very eyes, only to be spoken of from time to time when you tell your grand kids of that strange guy you once knew. They’ll never believe you though, and eventually you’ll be too senile to stop yourself from repeating the story so they’ll have you admitted to a home where you will spend the rest of your days telling staff about the guy who once vanished before your very eyes… put your hand up if you think this story has gone too far. Now put your hand down… was anyone watching you? You may find yourself in that home earlier then expected…

Seba really wanted the seared scallop on sticky rice cake with pigs ear salad (as did I. Actually I think I want anything that has a pigs ear salad) and Obi was set on the pork belly with citrus caramel, so I went ahead and ordered both of these plus stir fried prawns with snake beans, baby corn and puffed rice, cuttlefish with chilli jam, and Hainese chicken. It was really good. I have not been so satisfied by an Asian meal in many years. The satisfaction I have received from many an Asian prostitute is a different story but that, my friends, is a story for another time… another time. I would defo like to go back there a couple more times to give the whole menu I right going over (dirty old pirate styles. Roughly from behind…), mostly because I overheard our waitress telling another table about the beef tartare on lotus chips and also something about a duck sausage (these dishes do exist. I just checked the website). AM I SERIOUSLY THAT FUCKING BLIND? Honestly, I am going to start wearing my glasses (in actual fact I probably will not start wearing my glasses as they are the same glasses I have owned for the last twenty something years and they have probably left their case less times then you’ve masturbated… hold up. Bad analogy. Maybe they have left their case less times then you have made an actual woman reach orgasm. Yeah, that works)

Crisp pork belly with citrus caramel $14

Crisp pork belly with citrus caramel $14

Seared scallop, sticky rice  pork cake, pig ear salad and green nahm jim $14

Seared scallop, sticky rice pork cake, pig ear salad and green nahm jim $14

The pork and scallops were everything I love about Thai-esque cooking; textures, a fresh herb hit, and balanced flavours. Seriously good.

Stir fried prawns in sweet jungle paste, snake beans. baby corn, puffed rice $26

Stir fried prawns in sweet jungle paste, snake beans. baby corn, puffed rice $26

The prawns were magic. I would eat them again and again.

The broth, the chicken, the rice, THE siricha

Hainanese chicken. The broth, the chicken, the rice, THE siricha $34

The combo was good

The combo was good

The Hainanese chicken. This was good. It wasn’t outrageous and it’s not the dish I’d keep coming back for but it was good. On the other hand the siricha sauce that came out with it was bloody outrageous. Slightly smokey and definitely a recipe I would like to go back late at night and steal from the vault…

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Fried chilli jam cuttlefish, wild ginger, red nahm jim dressing $29

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It was all about the cuttlefish

The cuttlefish. Aaaah the cuttlefish. It’s not something you see heaps on restaurant menus but I’m not sure why… it’s available by the cuttlefish scoop load where I’m from, but that may not be the case in other towns, like Mount Isa. Maybe people are scared of eating it or chefs scared of cooking it. Whatever. I love it and this was a fine cuttlefish dish indeed. Damn fine. Really, really fine. I FUCKING LOVED IT. Crisp cuttlefish, chilli jam, papaya, ginger, other awesome bits… this is my kind of Asian food. This and young Thai lady boys, but I guess they may not be absolutely correctly described as food…

A statue in the garden

A statue in the garden

Another statue. I think the other one was my favourite

Another statue. I think the other one was my favourite

There is a pond, bamboo garden and other pretty things for you to look at while you eat, or you can close your eyes and imagine you’re waiting in line for your turn at a massage parlor in your favourite Thai province.

As for the cooking school I have no effing idea about that, simply because I was just there to eat. I’m sure it’s good though, and I base my findings on nothing. Absolutely nothing.

So, in summation I say go to Spirit House for a great Thai-esque meal, I damn fine surroundings, served by really effing nice staff!

Stay tuned to keep up to date on what we eat while we’re up in the hills. No more scary statue photos, I promise… well, maybe just one… but it’s a cracker.