|Momofuku's infamous pork buns|
Let's use all the strong words and superlatives here, shall we? Before we say anything else, let me just make it nice and simple to you: this is one of the best meals in 2014 for me. Expect no negative word on this post.
Taking part in Good Food Month's Hats Off Dinner, Momofuku Seiōbo brought their signature dishes of Ssäm Bar 2007, originally served in New York. I've always dreamt about their pork buns but this was actually the first time I witnessed such splendour.
Although the event's over, I can still feel the excitement to meet all the gorgeous creation of David Chang. We didn't get to try them all, but I'm pretty happy with our selections of the night.
First up: the pork buns.
Where do I start?
|Pork buns (pork belly, cucumber, scallion, hoisin sauce) - $18 (for 2)|
Let's just go through the checklist.
Delicate, pillowy buns? Check.
Tender, succulent, fatty slice of pork belly? Check.
Two slices of pork belly? Check.
Flavour balance with the tasty hoisin sauce? Check.
Some cucumber to keep it all refreshed? Check.
Some squirts of sriracha? Check.
It's as good as they say, you guys. If not better. Totally deserve the popularity and hype.
|Some fiery Sriracha came along.|
Typically, tripe isn't the menu I choose whenever I encounter it at a restaurant. However, this is another whole new level of a trip-based dish.
The spicy honeycomb tripe was slightly challenging to take pictures of, but we certainly didn't have the slightest difficulty in polishing off the plate. The tripe pieces were tender enough but still having the chewy wonder that made me keep repeating 'this is amazing' multiple times while eating. The sauce was curry-based, rich and full of flavour outbursts.
|Spicy honeycomb tripe - $18|
The yolk was the ultimate icing on the cake, sexy and creamy and definitely worth dreaming about. Give me this plate with some rice anytime, any day.
The rice cakes looked rather plain on first glance, but we dug around and we were rewarded with generous amount of minced pork sausage. The coating sauce was incredibly wonderful with lovely trace of creaminess. The dominant punches, however, were the acidity and a little fire from the kimchi.
|Rice cakes (with pork sausage, kimchi, kale) - $20|
Another dish that we mopped clean. Super clean.
|Them chewy rolls.|
Everything was going really great, but then the marinated hanger steak ssäm came and we were mindblown through and through. The band came with aromatic ginger scallion, a bit of kimchi, and beautifully-prepped lettuce.
|Marinated hanger steak ssäm (with ginger scallion, kimchi, bib lettuce) - $30|
But the steak. The steak.
'This cow must've come from heaven', I said to Amy. Because it must be true. How else can a steak taste so absurdly good?
So tender but didn't completely let our jaws jobless, perfectly cooked with bright pink hues in the middle, and the level of deliciosuness of whatever marinade they use was stupefying.
One bite and I had to close my eyes, went completely silent, bowed my head. That's how good it was.
|The one that stole my heart.|
I almost ended up brushing off the other elements and eat the steak alone. But of course that didn't happen.
|Wrap them all.|
Tello's chawan mushi might seem a bit exxy, given that it came in a rather small bowl. But rest assured, it was worth every cent. Apart from the silky egg custard, the truffle sauce was utterly rich and creamy, and the tantalizing aroma of truffle played and pampered our senses. The snails were chewy, a great contrast against the soft elements.
|Tello's chawan mushi (with truffle, snail, edamame, scallion) - $28|
We had the pan roasted skate for dessert, and it was a great finish of the meal. After the robust flavour parties from the steak and chawan mushi, the skate did taste a tad bland, but it was still marvellous on every bite. It was cooked perfectly, resulting in crispy, caramelized edges and moist flesh.
|Pan roasted skate (with brown butter and preserved lemon) - $24|
Being seated at the open-kitchen benches, we got first row seats for some awesome kitchen actions.
|Pork buns station.|
|Plating the delicate poached egg.|
We planned the visit well and managed to get in early in the evening. Or else we'd find ourselves in the everlasting line.
Ssäm Bar or not, Momofuku will see a lot more of me from now on.
Currency: $1 = IDR 11,000
Rating: 5/5 (Must try)
The pork buns alone are worth the trip, service is great and quick, ambiance is nice and comfortable with interesting open-kitchen view, price is relatively high-end but so worth it.
80 Pyrmont St, Pyrmont
Sydney, NSW 2009
Phone: (02) 9777 9000
Web: Momofuku Seiōbo