This post is about the bar area at Momofuku Seiobo. For my first (and very, very comprehensive) post on Momofuku which details its degustation, head over to this link or for the restaurant’s site, head here.
When the World Stops Spinning published an interesting post awhile ago on the bar food at Momofuku. Even while I was supping on Momofuku’s degustation menu, I was wondering what the food at the bar tasted like. In Feb of 2013, I finally had that wish granted.
What was available to me at the bar was really a world of its own, almost.
Date Visited: 6/2/2013
Recommended Dish(es): if you’re only able to make the bar, go for the spicy roasted rice cakes & pork mince
I’ve described before how the bar doesn’t seat many people – I said 5 at the time. Turns out that’s not true, it can seat more than that, but I don’t think it can seat any more than 10 people. No matter, as on this night, there were surprisingly few souls to be seen. In fact, I think I even spied a spare table available at the main restaurant, though that could have just been during the turnover period. At the bar however, there were only my friend, myself, and another couple. In fact, that couple were waiting at the bar for a table.
The bar area itself is quite nice – nothing fancy, all functional. It’s completely out of the way of the main restaurant itself (you turn right after entering for the restaurant, left for the bar), so doesn’t steal attention from the awesome open kitchen that is the star of the show.
To celebrate the friend getting back from exchange, a cocktail was ordered which uhh…I have no idea actually. I think it involved plum wine? I only took a sip (I’m actually pretty close to being a teetotaler you know), and it was actually really nice. If you see a plum-cocktail on the drinks menu, order it – it’s actually really good and I distinctly recall that bold, fruity aftertaste. A joy!
Of course, how could we pay a visit to Momofuku without ordering their pork buns! This is actually the only menu item that’s shared across both the bar and the restaurant – the other stuff are actually completely mutually exclusive (so you actually have to visit the bar to have the other stuff!)
The pork buns are more or less as I remembered them – nothing beats Momofuku for the soft and fluffiness of the bread. The pork itself is great to boot, though perhaps not as good as I used to remember it. I still prefer it to those of Ippudo though, but the reality is I love them both, for different reasons. The fattiness and plumpness of the pork at Momofuku is just something else entirely.
This bar exclusive comes in two forms – one would be the roll itself, the other, delicious crispy chips. They’re very generous with the spanner crab filling in the roll, to the point where I’m actually kind of overwhelmed by the flavour sensations. Speaking of that sensation, it’s quite spicy and tangy, like a creamy crab salad.
It’s very rich though; gets heavy after awhile – it’s perfect if you share it with someone (as the case was). It’s made to share!
As for the celery chips, they’re the first time I’ve had them, yet I instantly fell in love with them. You could barely make out the crisp freshness of celery, and I may have mistaken it for something else had I not been told that it’s celery. They were very crispy and fragile, each bite very pleasant and satisfying. I would buy these if they mass-produced them, that’s for sure.
Only criticism? They got quite salty after a few, had to wash down with copious amounts of water *gush gush*
My favourite dish of the night, and the one I’d order again of I went to the bar (well, I’d get the buns too, but they’ve had their spotlight), these rice cakes are nothing special, in that you could get something similar at pretty much any Korean shop, or even make it yourself.
It’s just that the Momofuku Bar does it so well –
- A level of chilli that’s burning and amazing (if you’ve normal sensitivity to chilli, perhaps stay away from this one)
- Oodles and oodles of flavour (but once again, gets salty if you eat this without drinking water)
- Delicious pork mince that’s chewy and crumbled all at the same time
- Soft, yet resistant rice cakes that are a pleasure to chew through
Yeahhhhh, best rice cakes I’ve had in awhile, hype notwithstanding. Actually, there is no hype about these, so that doesn’t even apply
If you’re unable to secure a booking at Momofuku’s dining area, fret not – the bar is definitely a viable option! There’s actually twice the number of menu items than featured in this post today – confit chicken wings, fried cauliflower w/fish sauce vinaigrette, eggs & pickles – you can definitely make a meal out of it ordering one of each…
…it’s almost like a degustation in itself!
As usual, feel free to leave a comment or three
Restaurant link: http://www.star.com.au/sydney-restaurants/signature-fine-dining/Pages/momofuku-seiobo.aspx
Awesome: food that’s par with the degustation courses…
Not so Awesome: but it’s much more conventional/pedestrian, you can get similar stuff elsewhere, expensive