Momofuku Seiobo, Pyrmont (Part I)

It feels like yesterday that I was wandering around the lower east side of New York. In reality, it’s been five months but my solo trip to New York was easily the best vacation of my life. I had quite a lot of food adventures but the main reason it was so good was just being away from my daily routine and enjoying myself in the greatest city on Earth.

Let’s be real though, y’all only care about my food adventures. You want to hear about my knock off version of Eat Pray Love starring me as a 23 year old male version of Julia Roberts. One of my most memorable meals was at Momofuku Noodle Bar. With all due respect to girls who do squats, the pork buns were easily the finest in the world.

I’m not even exaggerating when I say these cross my mind daily.

I had no idea when I was next going to New York so I just went on over to Momofuku Seiobo at Pyrmont instead.

Momofuku Logo
If you look closely, you’ll see someone that isn’t me

Momofuku Seiobo opened in Sydney to much fanfare back in 2011. Naturally, it’s taken me three years to get there as I tend to wait ’til trends die down before reviving them and looking like a revolutionary (or maybe I’m just a little slow).

I made my reservation twenty days in advance and snagged the very last time slot available on the day I had my heart set upon. I felt like the dude who snags the last medium sized shirt at a sale from a pile of XXXL garments.

Pictured: Not a guy named Momofuku
Pictured: Not a guy named Momofuku

Momofuku Seiobo offers the one tasting menu for all its diners outside of the bar area. It changes at random and can be different from one week to the next (spoiler alert: it’s very different from the week before).

We started off with a light snack:

From the right: Veal & smoked yolk, crab and chickpea and beetroot and black garlic on pastries of varied texture
From the right: Veal & smoked yolk, crab and chickpea and beetroot and black garlic on pastries of varied texture

Where I’m from, snacks consist of a can of Pringles, Pods and me with no pants on watching basketball. This is not how snacks are offered at Momofuku. They hit you with flavours your palette’s never experienced and all the staff in the restaurant are definitely wearing pants.

The crab and chickpea offering was incredibly tasty and the accompanying pastry was light and crispy. The veal and smoked egg yolk’s miniature plate was slightly thicker, chewier and had a more distinct flavour to accompany it’s topping. The beetroot and garlic fused two very strong flavours and sat on the crispiest pastry. Every mouthful was accompanied with an approving nod from me and my dining partner.

Strong way to start the meal. It’s like any dinner party that has the host saying iFat will not be attending (I’m bad at dinner parties because I insist on taking photos of everything and making every non-food blogger wanting to stab me with chopsticks).

Parson's nose (aka chicken tail) with ocean trout roe
Parson’s nose (aka chicken tail) with ocean trout roe

Spoiler alert: I misheard the wait staff constantly throughout the night. I thought they said that this was pig’s tail on presentation and immediately wrote fifteen jokes involving pigs, curly tails and the time I accidentally ended up in a cab with a woman 6x my size who was also named Isaac.

All those jokes were abandoned when I overheard the folks next to me receive the same dish and was told that it was chicken.

Anywho, this was awesome. It was extremely crispy like good crackling you come across that doesn’t scrape your mouth. Isaac from the cab and I could’ve eaten an entire taxi full of these.

Easily, I might add.

Truffle Sandwich
Truffle Sandwich

I misheard this one as well and thought we were getting chocolate sandwiches.

My inner seven year old immediately started fist pumping to the Dragon Ball Z theme song. I took a bite and was surprised when a powerful savoury feeling smacked me in the jaw like Piccolo when he was training Gohan. I then learnt that it was truffle and my inner seven year old went back to playing with Beyblades and hating females.

Imagine the best buttered toast you’ve ever had and smack truffles in the middle of that toast. There you go.

Shaved mushrooms, blood pudding and celeriac
Shaved mushrooms, blood pudding and celeriac

Aren’t I the best photographer?

Shaved mushrooms, blood pudding and celeriac
Shaved mushrooms, blood pudding and celeriac

My doctor didn’t specify, but I’m pretty sure he implied that I wasn’t a vampire the last time I went to see him. The fact that I absolutely loved the blood pudding Momofuku put in front of me has resulted in me checking my mouth for fangs every morning since dinner. This was like the finest meat pie I’ve ever had, I have absolutely no idea what sort of culinary magic has to happen to give blood pudding a mince texture but please never let this bit of hocus pocus die out.

Seared wagyu with radish and burnt watermelon oil
Seared wagyu with radish and burnt watermelon oil

First things first I’m the realest.

Secondly, this was easily the prettiest dish of the night. It was also the most interesting and the one I spent the most time thinking about.

Have you ever emerged from a cinema after a movie and weren’t completely sure whether you had just enjoyed the past two hours? Maybe the movie had a stellar cast, incredibly director, awesome plot but just lacked that extra oomph that would have you queuing up for a second viewing.

This dish had ridiculous wagyu chopped up into little bits that burst with flavour, excellent presentation and a bunch of accompanying ingredients placed there to complement the beef.

Alas, it was good, but it could’ve been a lot better.

Seared abalone, jerusalem artichoke and sunflower seed miso
Seared abalone, jerusalem artichoke and sunflower seed miso

This might have been my favourite dish of the night.

As a Chinese guy who’s been to a lot of celebratory dinners, I’ve had my fair share of abalone. This was amongst the finest samples of abalone I’ve ever had. The key to great abalone is for it to be soft. Chewiness is not the texture you want and the chefs at Momofuku definitely knew what to do. I loved the smoky kick that the sunflower seeds added to the proceedings.

Steamed flounder with roasted carrot
Steamed flounder with roasted carrot

This perfectly steamed portion of fish reminded me of crab. Here’s why.

Even the most devout fans of crab will acknowledge that eating it takes work. Sure, you can buy imitation crab meat and pretend to be a baller but that’s like me buying a teddy bear and pretending that I’m dating Beyonce. It’s just not the same.

With crab, you have to break the claw/legs to get the meat. It’s always worth it, and the work makes it taste that much sweeter.

This perfectly steamed portion of fish reminded me of crab. Here’s why: I had to remove a few bones and the fish tasted amazing because I had to put in a little effort to remove a choking hazard.

***

Here’s the TL;DR for everyone who has never been to dinner with me but still wants to stab me with chopsticks

– Part II will come out later in the week, I have absolutely no intention of making you guys sit through a three thousand word blog post.

Momofuku Seiobo, Pyrmont

80 Pyrmont Street (opposite Adriano Zumbo)

Opening Hours:

Monday – Thursday: 6:30 – 10:00pm

Friday:12:30-2:00 pm, 6:30-10:00 pm

Saturday:12:30-2:00 pm, 6:30-10:00 pm

Momofuku Seiōbo on Urbanspoon

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