ELE by Federico and Karl to take over Momofuku Seiobo site in Pyrmont

Chefs Karl Firla (left) and Federico Zanellato are opening a second restaurant together.
Chefs Karl Firla (left) and Federico Zanellato are opening a second restaurant together. Photo: Alan Richardson

David Chang's Momofuku Seiobo was always going to be a tough act to follow, but the Pyrmont restaurant site has snared a worthy sequel with hatted chefs Federico Zanellato and Karl Firla.

The duo – joint owners of Leo restaurant in Sydney's CBD – will open ELE by Federico and Karl in March, writing their own story in the space where Momofuku left an impressive near decade-long dining imprint.

They acknowledge there are big kitchen clogs to fill, but experience at the cutting edge of Sydney dining, Zanellato at LuMi and Firla during his spell as owner-chef at Oscillate Wildly, puts it in exciting hands.

The chefs say ELE won't be bound by a singular cuisine. When The Star approached them last year with the idea of taking the site, they wanted to create something new. "There's a real focus on the experience ... something new in the platform of dining," Firla says.

Where Momofuku always struggled with its different tiers of experience, depending on whether you were seated at a table or ringside at the open kitchen, ELE will look to bridge that gap.

ELE, which takes is cues from the elements of earth, fire, air and water, will use a combination of food, design, art installations and projections as diners move through the space. "It's progressive; you won't spend the whole time in one area," Firla says.

The chefs will rotate between their existing restaurants and ELE, which means you should always find one of them in the kitchen. "With our industry facing immeasurable difficulties at present, we couldn't be more excited to welcome diners in for a brand-new dining experience," Zanellato says.