We meet again Momofuku pork bun!
Once flights were booked to Sydney, I jumped online and tried to secure a reservation to Momofuku Seiobo pronto. Bookings can only be made online via their booking online system, and only 10 days in advance to your preferred date. (New reservation policy: you can now make a reservation 20 days in advance!) So that meant a quick calendar reminder was programmed into my phone so I wouldn’t forget to make that all important booking. Be quick though cause reservation spots fill up fast once the system opens at 10am AEST! Ten days prior to our preferred lunch date and we fortunately secure an early lunch booking. Score!
We arrived early at The Star and decided to wander around and check out the newly renovated venue. Bling bling blingy I tells ya. The first place that got my attention from the get go was Adriano Zumbo’s store when we first entered The Star. Bright pink neon lights and different flavoured macarons and cakes housed in glass boxes on display. So colourful and fun; a pit stop on the way home was mandatory for some macarons ‘to go’. We then wandered off to the Sports Bar mainly for the stranger to tune into his beloved sport of basketball, whilst I sipped on a mojito to kill some time.
Ten minutes till our lunch reservation and we were off in search of Momofuku Seiobo! Excited I was, but a
bit lot lost as well! After asking around for directions, we were finally told that Momofuku was directly opposite Adriano Zumbo(!) Say what?! Haha, we completely walked past it and didn’t even notice the restaurant! There were no signs but there was a large silver peach on the metal standing columns which turned out to be a door/wall with the restaurant tucked behind it. It felt like a private space for the restaurant secluded from the outside world; and if you looked hard enough, you could ‘peek’ inside through the metal column gaps.
Our lunch tasting menu was $100 (approximately 8 courses) with an additional $60 for matching wines per person or $30 for their juice pairing. We both opted for their wine pairing cause hey, neither of us had to drive so might as well make the most of it. (Prices have since changed from our visit, $110 for the lunch menu and an additional $75 for wine pairing or $40 for the juice pairing.) We got seated at the bar overlooking the open kitchen and got the chance to see what goes on behind the scenes. Psst, to the ladies, they’ve got a bag hook underneath the bench table for your handbags! It’s all about the details.
Mutemuka Shuzo 2013 from Kochi, Japan for two courses
First beverage of sake from Japan was poured and we were informed that it would carry on through to the next two courses with a brief overview of where the sake came from and how it would taste. Informative and great service and the meal hadn’t even started yet.
Smoked potato apple
OMGADFUADJVGSU. That was foodie speak for ‘OMG, THIS IS AMAZING’. First course in and I was already silently fist pumping cause the smoked potato apple was delicious! Smoked potato mash piped into a wafer thin cylindrical tuile with a dollop of sweet apple gel and a shaving of apple ‘snow’. Delightfully light and fun with a play on textures; a great starter.
Pork buns getting assembled
I spied my hungry eyes on pork buns being carefully assembled with such care… only to be smashed within seconds.. hehe!
Steamed bun, pork belly
The famous and beloved pork bun… minus the two extra slices of melt in the mouth, fatty pork belly that I got accustomed to whilst in NYC earlier in the year. These were smaller in size, ‘lacked’ the fat (!) and appeared more ‘neater’ in presentation but still just as good and a bit more ‘accessible’ to home.
Cute mini sriracha chilli sauce bottle.
Immich-Batterieberg ‘C.A.I’ Riesling 2011 from Mosel, Germany for two courses
Pink snapper, celery, mustard
Such a pretty and dainty dish of pink snapper sashimi, pickled celery and mustard oil. A light and well balanced dish with a natural sweetness from the pink snapper and a slight tickle left on ones palate from the zesty pickled celery and mustard oil.
Potato, mullet roe, parson’s nose
Crisp fried potato balls, fried chicken, pops of mullet roe, sprigs of fresh watercress and sweet quandong. So tasty and punchy with the quandong being my favourite component from the lot, sweet and slightly tart that cut through the potato and parson’s nose (the fatty rear end of a chicken – bet ya didn’t know what that was!).
Uehara Shuzō ‘Soma no Tengu’ 2012 from Shiga, Japan for one course
Eel dashi, octopus, almond
A colder and cooler course was next of smoked eel dashi jelly, octopus tentacles, turnips, almonds and radish. Refreshingly cool eel dashi jelly packed with intense flavour teamed with firm octopus tentacles and a snappy crunch from the turnips, almonds and radish.
Philippe Bornard ‘Le Blanc de la Rouge’ Chardonnay 2009 from Arbois Pupillin, France for two courses
Onion, burnt leek, yolk
I’m drooling by the sight of this. Seriously. The slow cooked egg yolk with burnt leek ash sprinkled on top was amazingly rich and oh so creamy (the creamiest I’ve ever had!), and the sour dough bite sized croutons were perfectly golden and blissfully crunchy. The onion layers and red wine onion wedge were naturally sweet and lent a softer ‘crunch’ with every mouthful. So so soooo good.
Mulloway, fennel, dill
The roasted mulloway, fennel and dill dish pulled back on the flavours immensely in comparison to our previous dishes. Perfectly roasted mulloway with a slight crisp on the outside, thin slices of fennel and sprigs of dill to add a subtle pop with every mouthful.
Etienne Courtois L’Icaunais 2008 from Sologne, France for one course
Pork neck, squash, kombu
Our last savoury dish of the meal was a juicy piece of pork neck with squash chunks and thin slices of eggplant. Keepin’ it simple with subtle flavours and letting the ingredients speak for themselves.
Eric Bordelet Poiré Granit 2011 from Normandy, France for three courses. (not pictured)
Curd, blackcurrant, mint
A large dollop of goat’s curd from the Adelaide Hills in a small pool of blackcurrant, with a ‘mini’ pool of mint in the centre and a sprinkle of sour dough crumble. I wished I liked goat’s curd, but I do not as I find the intense flavour strong and unpalatable. Having said that, that wasn’t going to stop me from trying this simple concoction out. The smooth goat’s curd was intensely tart and strong with the blackcurrant and mint subduing the flavours by their sweetness. The sour dough crumble was a winner for me, super duperly crunchy and crumbly, reminiscent of crunchy honey cornflakes, without the honey.
Pear, honey cream, muntries
Poached honey pear, yoghurt and muntries (also known as emu apples) with a heavy sprinkle of crumble (yay!). Not overly sweet with great contrasting textural elements and pops of sweet juicy muntries. Yum yum yum!
Canelé and salted caramel
The canelé had a thick caramelised crust housing a soft centre with a sweet egg custard accompanied with a cube of gooey and chewy salted caramel. A perfect ending to a delightful and relaxing lunch with every dish being made with such precision and care; the chefs in the kitchen all worked systemically and harmoniously with each other whilst their work stations were kept spotless at all times.
We also received kim chi vacuumed seal packs to take home and a menu of what we had, which proved to be super handy for me as I struggled to keep up and jot down everything we ate throughout our meal (11 dishes in total!).
Great seats, delectable meal, excellent service, perfect company and satisfied bellies.
80 Pyrmont Street
Sydney NSW 2009
Fri-Sat 12pm-2pm, 6.30pm-10pm