Momofuku Seiobo

Izakaya style: Momofuku Seiobo at The Star.
Izakaya style: Momofuku Seiobo at The Star. Photo: Quentin Jones

The Star, 80 Pyrmont Street Pyrmont, New South Wales 2009

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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

New York chef David Chang’s Sydney outpost is fine dining, by any standards, but it’s as counter-intuitive as fine-dining gets. There’s the sought-after izakaya-esque counter around the no-secrets kitchen, the AC/DC posters and matching soundtrack, and, of course, the artful dishes, served and explained by a series of youthful chefs. Chang’s greatest hits feature, such as his soft, steamed pork belly bun – uncommonly delicious with a squirt of Sriracha. Marron, seaweed and a ciggie-shaped salsify is delightfully fresh and fleshy. Beef tongue with watercress and fennel offers a new take on wagyu, though a marbled, dark chocolate-tasting short-rib with daikon and turnip is richness in overdrive. Desserts are a beauteous pleasure, particularly a small scoop-sized mandarin sorbet with coconut and egg. After 13 courses, the now famous sticky-sweet, ribbony pork shoulder ‘petit four’ can seem one inspired, eccentric dish too many, but any resistance dissolves in the first mouthful. 

Wine/drinks: Superb and interesting with a variety of beer, wine and sake by the glass or bottle, as well as a matched juices menu; 12 wines by the glass

And…reservations on-line only.