About 3 years ago, I was having lunch with my friends Jazz and Grace. At the time Jazz was single and didn’t think she would ever get a date. Grace and I thought this was silly and placed a bet with her, our bet was that if she was still single by the time she turned 26 we would give her $100 each but if she was in a serious relationship by 26 – she would give us each $100. It was a deal. Not long after this bet, she started dating a great guy and they got married last year. To celebrate our win, we decided that we would contribute the amount towards a good meal… and finally earlier this month we went to Momofuku Seiōbo for lunch!
Momofuku Seiōbo at the Star is Momofuku’s first restaurant outside of NYC offers an eight course tasting menu for lunch, we booked 20 days in advance online for four people. Some say it’s quite hard to get a reservation, but according to Jazz, it was harder to organise a date with the four of us than to place the reservation.
Walking into Momofuku feels like walking into a nightclub- they have loud music pumping in the background and a dark decor with the use of mirrors and neon lights. The interior of the restaurant features an open kitchen so that you could watch the chefs prepare your meal.
Smoked Potato with Apple was the first dish that was brought to us. The outside layer was crispy, similar to a spring roll. The smokiness was prominent in the mashed potato filling and the gel on the side tasted like sweet apple. The roll was topped with shaved dehydrated apples. This was a fantastic amuse-bouche that got our taste buds going.
Our first course – Steamed Bun with Pork Belly. This is the famous pork bun by David Chang. It was soft, melt-in-your-mouth-delicious, and it did leave me wanting another one…especially after adding the sriracha sauce. But at the same time, I didn’t quite understand what the craze is over Momofuku’s pork bun?
Peach, Sea Blight
Our second course – Striped Trumpeter with fermented peach and sea blight. The trumpeter was prepared like sashimi but the texture of the fish was quite rubbery. The sea blight was like eating grass. The liquid in this dish tasted like sea water. The fermented peach was probably the only thing we enjoyed from this dish.
Roe, Leek Heart
Our fourth course – Potato with Roe and Leek Heart. This course was better than the third course. Potatoes were crispy and the leeks were soft. The bits of red bacon-looking pieces are actually a native Australian fruit called Quandong. The only let down was the green sauce which was bitter and slightly overpowered the dish.
The fifth course – Eel Dashi with Octopus and Cucumber. This was a dish that we all enjoyed and almost licked our plates for. The jelly was infused with eel, the octopus was cooked to perfection and all the components of this dish worked well together.
Another fantastic course, Egg with Cauliflower and Mushroom. An amazing slow-cooked egg yolk at the centre of this dish, soft on the inside and firm enough to stand on its own. The cauliflowers were roasted to perfection and mushrooms are the thinly sliced circles you see in the photo. All of these ingredients sat on a layer of mushroom puree – delicious. This was one of my favourite dishes!
The Trumpeter must have been their catch of the day… the fish was perfectly cooked. I’m not sure where the oyster was in this dish as I don’t remember eating it and this photo doesn’t help identify it either…may have been the sauce.
Another main dish, Chicken with Endive and Sunflower. The paste on the right of the photo was like a sunflower paste with a bit of deep fried chicken fat (parson’s nose). The chicken tasted very bland on its own, it felt like they forgot to season the dish. I think the point was to smear the paste onto all the components to enjoy this dish. I didn’t mind the taste of the paste, but my friends were not fans..
Ok, at this point of the meal we’ve lost count of the number of meals… and when this Curd with Blackcurrent and Mint came we thought this was our last course (we weren’t given the menu until the end) and we began to kick ourselves for Momofuku not having a proper dessert to finish the meal. Personally, I’m not a fan of goat’s curd… so I didn’t have the whole thing. My friends enjoyed it, especially with a sip of dessert wine on the side.
So having thought our last course was our final course, we were overjoyed when our waiter presented us with an actual dessert! Sorrel ice cream with Pistachio meringue and Marzipan. This was a work of art – both visually and in taste, the sorrel ice cream was refreshing and the dish worked well with the tiny berries and marzipan on the side topped with pieces of pistachio meringue.
Salted Caramel & Canelé
To finish our meal, we were served the petit fours- Salted Caramel and Canelé. The salted caramel was soft, tasty and like toffee that sticks to your teeth. The canelé was hard on the outside and soft like cake on the inside.
At the end of our meal, we received a postcard, a menu and a small packet of kimchi to take home. We also went away with memories of some amazing dishes and some really average ones…. but at the end of the day, we had fun celebrating our win at a fancy restaurant :) Thanks again Jazz.
The Star 80 Pyrmont Street, Pyrmont