Sydney | Momofuku Seiōbo at The Star
Momofuku was firstly opened on 13th St in Manhattan, New York City as a small noodle joint a decade ago. The food Momofuku offers were quite simple, noodles, buns and drinks, such French-Vietnamese food. Following by Momofuku Milk Bar, which specialized in making cookie and cereal milk-flavoured ice-cream. Momofuku finally came to Sydney, named Momofuku Seiobo. Housed in the trendy new landmark - the Star, Momofuku Seiobo soon became the talk of the town. The 3-hats-awarded Momofuku is no doubt on the list of my food trip to Sydney.
Visited: Apr. 25th. 2015 (Dinner)
Address: The Star, Lvl G, 80 Pyrmont St, Pyrmont 2009
Hours: Dinner Mon-Thu 6.30-10pm; Fri, Sat 6-10pm; Lunch Fri noon-2pm
Came for: Degustation Menu
Price: AUD $220 per head
Favorite Dishes: Duck Breast, Eve's curb
Things are much happier on the diner side of the counter. Seibo has one of the cleanest kitchen in town, it is enjoyable to see the chefs processing the food. Besides that, Seiobo has quite possibly the sharpest service team of any of the Momofukus, and it’s certainly the friendliest.
Yes, you have to make a reservation in advance. If you are lucky enough, you can walk-in without and sit at the counter. In this case, you may choose from the snack menu. If you did make a reservation, the only menu avaialble is the degustation menu. For me, the degustation menu ($220) is always a first choice.
Our dinner started with assorted amuse bouche. The first plate consists of three mini savory tarts: uni, cucumber with sweet bean paste, and carrot puree tart. The cucumber one was too salty for us, we loved the uni tart.
The second plate of amuse bouche was chicken karage with salmon roe. The crispy deep-fried chicken nicely pairs the popping roes.
The last amuse bouche was the crispy toast with hazelnut paste and crashed hazelnuts. It was quite flavorful.
The first course was a morron, which is also being called 'bug', finished with a mushroom soup and custard. The bug itself was very tender, but the soup was quite salty.
Next came a beautiful dish of assorted radish, the diced wagyu was underneath the sliced radish. The wagyu was slightly seared, the center part was succulent and quite flavorful with the fermented balck bean.
A simple dish of cauliflower was nicely presented in front of us right after the wagyu. The taste was not bad but nothing really special.
We quite enjoyed the crab ravioli with toasted corn and chickpea sauce. The crab meat was umami and high in flavor, the ravioli itself was al dante and matches the crispy corn very well.
The first main course, the grouper was nice-prepared. The skin of the fish was like jelly, rich and chewy, which i considered the best texture. The meat part was tender and simply delicious. One thing i don't really like about the dish was the mustard, which has already been used in the first course.
This was considered the best duck course of the year i have had so far. The smoked duck was quite high in flavor, it was cooked to medium, very succulent and deliciou. Even the fat part was not oily nor greasy, we quite enjoyed the crispy skin as well. The turnip on the side was smooth and balanced the duck breast very well.
The alternative choice for pescetarians was the whiting, it was deep-fried like tempura. The outerlayer was very crispy, and not oil at all. The center was melt-in-mouth tenderness.
The first dessert was rhubard compote with yogurt sorbet and rice puff. It was quite refreshing, the texture was smooth while the crispy puffs brought a lovely conflict.
The creme puff was probably the dish we enjoyed the most of the meal. The puff pastry was a hard version, it was very crispy and flaky. I don't like cream stuff but the vanilla yogurt cream insider was really lovely - high in vanilla flavor, smooth and not over-sweetened. I loved the rose jam pretty much. It was the best puff of the year.
The last dessert consists of corn and green pea cream with meringue crisp. The corn cream was very 'real' and high in corn flavor, it paired nicely with the refreshing pea cream. I don't like the meringue very much as it was too sweet for my liking.
We were treated with the housemade caneles, the outerlayer was quite crispy while the inside was warm and moist. The honey flavor was lovely but a bit too sweet, otherwise it would be perfect.
In general, the food was not bad but not really 'wow'ed us. The ingredients were no doubt premium, but some of the dishes were over-salted. Usually for degustation menu, the taste of the food should be served from blander ones to more flavorful ones. While at Momofuku Seiobo, some of the appetizers were even more salty than the mains. The ambiance were quite relaxing, the service was warm and efficient.