Sunday, September 9, 2012

Momofuku Seiōbo -- or -- The toughest meal in town


I had never heard of Momofuku before they opened a restaurant in my town. But it seemed they came with their own reputation. And a lot of hype. Thought I'd try to get my hat on their stand and see what all the fuss was about. That's what I thought. Turns out that was one hard nut to crack.


The stress of near-impossible reservations, credit card deposit and "if you're not here within 15 minutes you lose your spot", and a large complex with inadequate signage was not a great way to set the scene. Seriously, Star, your 'wayfinding' sucks.

Momofuku itself was great. I loved watching the open kitchen, with all their meticulous prep and labels and all. There were tables away from the kitchen and I think those people miss out. The music sets a relaxed and fun vibe.

The staff were awesome. They knew their stuff. And the waitstaff were ninjas. That's not racist; that's a metaphor. They literally snuck up, cleared your plates and set your next lot of cutlery without you noticing. They are figuratively ninjas. (Besides, some of them were white. Who's racist now?)

The hype: I would not have ventured to the casino for an expensive meal were it not for blogger-hype. So perhaps the hype was a good thing. But only because the place and the food lived up to it.

A 10-course lunch (plus donut course) set us back $100 for food, and $60 for matched drinks. Some drinks go across two or three courses, so that's five drinks all up, with a mix of sake, wine and cider.

Final verdict would be that it's worth trying, as it's a lovely experience and they do really interesting dishes. But I don't know that I'd call it a 'must-try' experience. So, if you can't get a reservation: there are plenty of other great places to try your luck on.

Momofuku Seiobo
Enter via the back entrance to the casino (i.e. Pyrmont St).


Momofuku Seiōbo on Urbanspoon

11 comments:

  1. I heard of Momofuku long time ago, when I used to follow several American food blogs. By the time they hit Sydney I wasn't interested anymore. Food looks creative and great but for some reason I don't feel compelled to give it a try.

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    1. To each their own, I suppose. Hype goes both ways -- attracts some people, turns others off.

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  2. I'm not sure if I could try Momofuku - knowing my luck I'd get lost and be 16 minutes late!

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  3. I know exactly where this place is as I've walked past a few times....just to "look". I'm trying to steer away from Degos - cos I literally don't think my tummy has any more stretch in it, but I'm to see at their little bar & try some bar snacks. I think $100 for a 10 course lunch is VERY reasonable!

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    1. How many laps around the casino are required to burn off a 10-course lunch?

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  4. The venue (Star) was the only bad thing about this place. I think Det Chow undersold it. Having been ripped off by other posh restaurants (Becasse anyone? Glad they're gone.), this was great. Up there with Oscillate and Sixpenny. Not Marque though, that was a class of its own.

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    1. Westfield, casino. Neither scream 'ambience'. Maybe in Vegas; not in Sydney.

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  5. I've never heard a bad word about Momofuku-it's just the booking policy that stops us going there as it's so hard to co-ordinate friends where you often book dates together weeks ahead :)

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  6. The lunch price is resonable- much better than the dinner. Still on the fence with going- still many other places to eat at- with better directions :)

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  7. That's really NOT a bad price for all that gorgeous food. Pork fat in a donut?? Why the hell not!?

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