The Star, 80 Pyrmont Street Pyrmont, New South Wales 2009
|Opening hours||Lunch Sat from noon; Dinner Mon-Sat from 6pm|
|Features||Bar, Licensed, Accepts bookings, Accommodation, Degustation, Long lunch, Vegetarian friendly, Wheelchair access|
|Prices||Expensive (mains over $40)|
|Payments||eftpos, AMEX, Visa, Mastercard|
|Phone||02 9777 9000|
In a sleek, dark room, couples lean into hand-crafted Mud Australia bowls, plates and cups, and peer and probe before taking a thoughtful bite. Chew. Pause. Smile. Nod. Confer. And smile again. And so it goes for 14 courses (Is that mochi? Bee pollen? Yorkshire pudding?) until the finale: sticky, slow-roasted, pull-apart caramelised pork that comes out after cheese and after dessert. New York star David Chang is informed by science texts as much as by time-honoured Japanese kaiseki, and chef Ben Greeno's tasting menu is a merry dance, in turn delicate and aggressive. The pleasure principle prevails, dehydrated fish scales (on sea mullet with nectarine puree and Sichuan pepper) and burnt eggplant (a pitch-black puree with marron and rhubarb) notwithstanding. Pea agnolotti in a cloud of parmesan could be the comfort food of the future. The hot seats are those around the shiny, lab-like open kitchen, for dinner-and-a-show, and chefs serve each dish themselves. It's a provocative, focused, iconoclastic and beguiling experience.