|Fried chicken from Moon Park|
Moon Park is a sweet gig from chefs Ben Sears and Eun Hee An, a Korean restaurant that provides so many twists in their dishes they almost as intricate as Home and Away's plot story. In a good way.
It's an one-hatted restaurant, so I stepped in with great expectation. Although no pictures of the interior taken, it is a petite restaurant without making you feel claustrophobic, with gorgeous decorations and stylish set.
We did not cover the whole menu, but we came close.
Ssam came first; little three rolls of cabbage filled with sweet and succulent strands of ox tail. It was a great bang to start the night.
|Ssam - ox tail, seeds, chilli threads, sweet cabbage ($7.5 ea)|
Memiljeon took the spotlight next. It was beautifully presented buckwheat pancake, with garlic chive and mackerel floss. Now, I have tasted any kind of floss: beef, chicken, prawn, pork, fish, you name it. Mackerel gloss, however, was a bit new for me. It was fluffy clouds staying on the salty side, but alas perfect accompaniment for the crispy pancake.
|Memiljeon - buckwheat pancake, garlic chive, and mackerel floss ($15)|
It may not show from this photo, but the BBQ octopus with potato cream, kelp oil, garlic chive kimchi tasted as good as it sounded. We made a few guesses regarding the white creamy matter in the middle of the plate ('sour cream?'), but it was unanimous decision that it was unbelievably creamy, surrounded by a ring of chewy and smoky octopus and interesting addition of dried seaweed that was picturesque.
|BBQ octopus, potato cream, kelp oil, garlic chive kimchi ($24)|
Having eaten ddeokbokki (spicy rice cake) for every single day whilst freezing my soul off in Seoul, I had great expectation on Moon Park's take of Korea's national street food. I know it was gonna be different, I didn't expect it to be this different.
Instead of the spicy punches my mouth was drooling for, there was this smooth peanut butter-y taste enveloping the chewy rice cake. Very subtle chilli hint from gochujang passed on every bite like a short, yet welcomed, wind breeze. Crushed peanuts jacket only elevated the nuttiness of the dish.
|Ddeokbokki - deep fried rice cakes with gochujang and peanuts ($6)|
It was tricky to share three pieces of spanner crab and black garlic on seed biscuit between the five of us, but it was a marvelous bite still. The crab was sweet and creamy; contrasted by the crispy biscuit and enhanced by the fragrant garlic.
|Spanner crab and black garlic on seed biscuit ($7.5 ea)|
.... let alone sharing two small pieces of ssambap (yangnyeom smoked eel and puffed wild rice in a big nasturtium leaf). Again, a stunning play on the texture yin-yang, with juicy eel and aromatic leaf.
|Ssambap - yangnyeom smoked eel, puffed wild rice in a big nasturtium leaf ($7.5 ea)|
Dotorimuk (acorn jelly, charred eggplant cream, zucchini namul, and cured egg) was probably my least favourite gem of the night. Don't get me wrong; it was still a complicated beauty with tangled great ingredients and flavours. I just dislike jellies.
|Dotorimuk - acorn jelly, charred eggplant cream, zucchini namul, and cured egg ($19)|
By this time carbs was in order. Bibimbap or mixed rice was a heaping bowl of rice, confit ocean trout, grains, kale namul (namul is seasoned vegetable dish - like pickled vegetables), laver, and egg yolk. It was a heavier affair compared to the rest of the previous dishes, but man oh man it was satisfying as hell.
The way the rice became sticky after the yolk was mixed...
Then the flaky and melt-in-your-mouth heaven that was the trout...
... all lifted up by the various other ingredients that may not seem important but played important parts to make the dish wholesome and kick-ass.
|Bibimbap - a bowl of rice with confit ocean trout, grains, kale namul, laver and egg yolk ($32)|
The pork belly braised with artichoke and chestnut in a mushroom and charcoal dashi was the only dish I did not get the chance to try due to four hyenas around me. While the dashi had really clean yet complex layers of flavour. The pork belly received two thumbs up and more from everyone around the table.
|Pork belly braised with artichoke and chestnut in a mushroom and charcoal dashi ($34)|
I saved the best for the last.
The fried chicken.
Four pieces of magnificent, glorious in gold fried chicken with a handful of pickled radish cubes and inviting sprinkles of black sesame seed. The bird itself was juicy, jam-packed with familiar but absolutely delicious flavour, and of course, the crunchy jacket of the batter that holds everything together.
|Fried chicken, pickled radish, soy & sauce ($14 for 4 pieces)|
In conclusion, although there were a bit of hit and miss for me, the restaurant deserves the hat for sure. Have I mentioned how great the service was? Thumbs up, Moon Park.
Currency: $1 = IDR 9,800
Rating: 4/5 (Recommended)
Interesting fusion Korean dishes, service is impeccable, price is reasonable for a hatted restaurant, ambiance is very cozy.
Level 1, 34b Redfern Street
Phone: (02) 9690 0111
Web: Moon Park