Momofuku Seiōbo

There was so much excitement and anticipation at the arrival of David. I have to say I was swept along too. Not so much because the irreverant David Chang was opening his first restaurant outside New York City, but because Ben Greeno was also coming.

I first met Ben at the Loft Project. He had just left Noma and had done his stint at Momofuku NYC. Clayton Wells, now sous chef at Momofuku Seiōbo, was also there with Ben. At the Loft Project, the kitchen is your own, your free to push the boat out as far as you please. What came out from that was nothing but exciting. So to imagine what together David and Ben might create for Momofuku Seiōbo kept me in a bubble of anticipation.

There was alot of talk about the restrictions of only having a $175 degustation menu and the online booking system, but none of them deterred me. I registered online and got a booking reasonably quickly, no problem there. As far as the menu goes, there are so many great cheap eats in Sydney, I think it’s was only appropriate David opted for a higher level of dining. Besides why would he go to all the trouble of coming over to open a noodle bar? This way Momofuku Seiōbo gets to show Sydney how they ‘do’ food and in any case the famous pork bun is on the menu, and yes it is as good as everyone raves about.

The music was pumping and I had a front row seat over the million dollar kitchen. This is what showed up on my plate…and don’t be shocked by the petit four, it’s mean’t to shock, that’s just David all over.

Snacks – Shitake chip, nori, mochi

The steamed pork bun

Kingfish, warrigal greens, furikake

white asparagus, marron, szechuan pepper

Beef, radish, fermented black bean and burnt watermelon

eel dashi, hailstone radish, chive blossom

spanner and swimmer crab, butter, pepper, biscuit (yorkshire pud)

baked egg, toasted rice, brown butter

hand torn pasta, goat cheese, chilli, mint

striped trumpeter, broccoli, horseradish, potato

lamb neck, daikon, pickled turnips

pecorino, honey licorice, bee pollen

wattle seed, malt, crispy milk skin

miso, pickled strawberry, toasted rice, mustard

petit four-sweet pork

 Momofuku Seiōbo

The Star,

Pyrmont,Sydney

Bookings: http://www.momofuku.com/restaurants/seiobo/

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Tudor Road

I think supper clubs are so exciting, everyone is a different experience as the host gets a free reign to show a bit of themselves. With no rules, no chef to answer to, it is interesting what arrives on your plate.

Ben Greeno’s supper club, Tudor Road, is certainly one I was keen to get to. It wasn’t easy to score a spot either. So why the popularity??

Ben Greeno is a guy to keep your eye on. As young chef he has worked at some of the best restaurants in the world. From Nottingham’s Sat Bain where his career quickly started to take off. Ben then moved to Kommandanten, Noma and The Paul, L’Grand Hôtel d’Uriage, Mads Refslund, Kittle House and Momofuku.

The evening started with a warm greeting from Ben, a glass of bubbles, olives and a chat with his other guests this evening, including his parents, brother and Ben’s lovely girlfriend. Sitting at the rustic table, opening my wine, I knew this was going to be good, I just had to hide my excitement….

Jerusalem artichoke, burnt butter, hazelnuts, feta and nasturtium leaves. A beautiful simple dish to start. The jerusalem artichoke left just a little slightly raw retaining it’s crisp earthy flavours joined with the salty feta, and buttery crunchy hazelnuts. 

I love the clean lines and flavours of this dish. Mackerel, cucumber balls rolled in burnt cucumber with dashi and coriander shoots. The dashi provided some complexity to the raw mackerel and the crisp cucumber balls, refreshing.

Slow cooked egg, ox tongue, beetroot and apple. Ahhh eggs cooked in a sous vide are oh so good. Slip your knife into that runny yolk and white and let it side between the little cubes of beetroot, crisp ox tongue and crunchy apple. I love the combination of flavours.

Rump of lamb, carrots, grilled pear, and pickled walnuts. Ben chooses fresh produce from the market on the day. I’m glad he thought these heirloom carrots looked good. Roasted they come out so sweet, and the rare lamb was softly tender.

Divinely smooth rich quenelle of chocolate with gentle turkish delight and soft creme fraiche scented with rose water. It was a perfectly simple dish to end the meal.

Square Mile coffee served in Scandinavian Eva Solo skins slipped over sleek Eva coffee jugs. Served with a mouthful of deep salted caramel chocolate.

You would expect to pay quite a bit for someone of Ben’s calibre and experience to cook your supper. Ben asks £40. Which is gracious considering that’s what is asked at most supper clubs.

I first met Ben at The Loft Project. He had just come back to London after spending some time at Momofuku. It was his final night of cooking and we had a 12 course meal with wines to match. He had really pushed the boat out at The Loft, I’m sad to say it was before I was blogging. I had intended to take photos but my point and shoot wasn’t going to cope with the mood lighting. Let’s just say it was a big night and Ben was a great host.

Coincidently this was to be Ben’s last night in the Tudor Road location. I felt like I had had a lovely meal at a friends place, such is the relaxed calm manner in which Ben serves his food. I can’t wait to see what is in store for Ben in the new year, you just know it will be exciting.