N.B I lost some data, so that my dish descriptions are not entirely accurate. Rely on the pics.
MUST ORDER Abalone; pork; zoodle salad; roti; caramel ice cream
AMBIANCE Relaxed and funky
WOULD I GO BACK? Can’t wait
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. An open kitchen is my favourite form of fine dining. I love watching the chefs prepare fresh ingredients, with produce laid out around the restaurant (here, and around and up a glass-encased, back-of-house kitchen). The layout of Momofuku is a rectangular bar surrounding the cooking area. Tables are only for people dining as a group, but I highly recommend you come with one other person and enjoy the bar.
Paul Carmichael is the coolest chef ever. In a non-try-hard, non-wannabe way. He doesn’t (always) wear sneakers, but he’s super chill and funny. He walks around the kitchen chatting to his co-workers like a friend. The relaxed-looking chefs work to a tropical soundtrack, and yet bring serious precision to the table. Carmichael personally serves me many of the dishes.
Service was superb and attentive. I love the pace. They’re so prompt between courses, clocking your appetite. Each diner is getting personalised attention and service, and not everyone is getting the same dishes in the same order. I also appreciate getting a wet towel for my hands. Usually you only get that in Japanese restaurants.
Abalone is sweet and creamy, and to this day it is my favourite snack ever eaten at any restaurant.
Dressed to impress on a plate of shells is snail meat in plantain shells. The sliced sea snail taste fresh, with a coriander kick and a clean lime finish.
A third thinly sliced pork dish is delicate, light and fresh. It has a superb pickle flavour, and is pink because it’s been braised at 60 degrees.
The fourth course is one of the best vegetarian dishes I’ve ever eaten. It features house-made hot sauce, perfectly cooked zoodles (zucchini noodles), mint and toasted nuts. There are punchy, smokey flavours mingling with the magical yellow mayonnaise hidden underneath.
Blue Swimmer Spanner crab is the fifth course, with awesome crunch and a saffron sauce that delights to the extreme.
One of the highlights was the marron with young coconut and koji butter, served with fresh, warm roti.
Next is a dish inspired by a Caribbean breakfast. It has the freshness of a fish taco, and tastes like deconstructed nachos. It’s amazing with soft capsicum with the avocado and basil.
The prawn and peanut is a bonus course, and is carefully served with the segments of shell removed and encasing the prawn in sections.
The pork is gorgeously salty, and one of the most exquisite dishes so far. It’s somehow silken. The chefs say it hangs in here for two weeks to age. Why aren’t more people doing this with pork? The pork crackling on top is yummo, but too small and token-like. It’s like the crackling you buy in a packet. I need fat, warmth and moisture under my crackling.
I’m not a fan of the third last dessert. It’s an icy yoghurt sorbet, but tastes boring and slightly sour.
In contrast, the caramel gelato is interesting, rich and elegant. Presentation is impressive.
Momofuku is famous for the tiny ‘black bitch’. The rum cake itself is not up my alley, but I’m not a fan of alcohol in desserts. Since my visit, they’ve taken it off the menu. Good call.
This is my first experience eating Caribbean food, and I loved it. I often find restaurants are too conservative with the intensity of the flavours they use. Not Paul Carmichael. This food is extremely memorable, and is bound to impress.
Visit date: December 2017
Momofuku Seiōbo only offers one set menu degustation of eleven courses for $185.
Momofuku is located inside The Star.