Sunday, 26 October 2014

Momofuku Ssäm Bar 2007, Momofuku Seiōbo - The Star

Great. Best. Amazing.
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.

Table setting

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.

Yolk porn!

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.

20:00 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.



The Star
80 Pyrmont St, Pyrmont
Sydney, NSW 2009

Phone: (02) 9777 9000

Web: Momofuku Seiōbo

Momofuku Seiōbo on Urbanspoon

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  1. Fantastic recap and really nice pics, Irene! I agree with everything you said. The Ssam bar menu was totally epic, it made me go back twice! Lol at "this cow must've come from heaven", that made me crack up :D

    1. Oh why thanks heaps, Chris! And yeah, how good was everything??? Had I have the time I'd definitely come back! Hahahaha glad you find it amusing! :)

  2. really wanted to go to this but had one of the busiest weeks ever when this was happening. got to try the pork buns on the regular bar menu and i have to say that it's worth coming back for more :)

    1. The pork buns alone make it worth the trip to the Star :)

  3. OMG everything looks amazing! Considering this was your best meal f 2014, I'm definitely making a trip here soon!!

    1. You definitely have to. Let me know what you think then! :)

  4. Replies
    1. Tasted even better, if that's even possible!

  5. so totally devastated that i had to work and couldnt try this! the steak looks amazing!

    1. The steak was the bomb! Hahaha. I hope they come back again next year.

  6. You had me at the truffled chawan mushi. Actually, truffled anything will do haha! Great post!

    1. Hahahaha I'll buy you a truffle farm one day, Yvonne! ;)

  7. Dear Irene,

    The hangar steak sounds like a meat lover's dream come true.

    1. Every dream and imagination of a meat lover!

  8. how amazing was the steak? i think i bowed my head after every single dish we had!

  9. I'll never forget the first time I had Momofuku's buns and everytime I see them, it reminds me of a time when I was young, free and on my own. Oh and they tasted like pork from Heaven, there's that too.

    1. Hahahahah. Agreed! I think they may have bought their animals from the heaven.

  10. I remember my birthday dinner at momofuku 2 years ago! It was such a lovely experience!! Also sat on the open kitchen bench. Best seat in the house!

    1. Agreed on the open kitchen bench. How good is it to watch the chefs flicking their magic wands? Just makes the eating experience even better, yeah? :)


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