Ok. So we all know. It’s an absolute nightmare to even make a booking. The booking form is as famous as the restaurant itself.
It’s rigid, comprehensive and virtually impossible. It almost makes you want to give up on food. Life even!
So I thought, what better way to enable my fellow foodies by writing up about my first-hand booking experience and share with you some of my key tips picked up over the course of a month.
With the hope that one day, you could almost certainly secure a spot at the elusive Momofuku Seiōbo restaurant. Or at least die trying.
My experience was no easy feat. Oh no no… But practice makes perfect and with countless attempts later, I would hone my clicking and typing skills down to a ‘T”, eventually taking me to see the bright lights of sweet success.
I would ceremoniously log in everyday at 10:00, enter my details, hit ok, only to find crosses everywhere along the reservation table. This would already be my third week running…
Finally, I found a green tick that was available for me to click on. Ding ding ding – Jack pot.
Now that I was finally here, I didn’t want to jinx anything by making any silly mistakes, so I took… myyyy… tiiiiime… and I went through the first stage of the booking process with a fine tooth comb noting that my it would be held for 60 seconds. Yes there is a count down, just so they can watch you sweat it.
So I let it run down to my last 20 seconds before I moved to the next stage where I had an additional 180 seconds to fill in my details and secure my booking.
Again, I let it run down to my last 20 seconds before I hit the ok button and everything vanished.
I tried it again and all red crosses. I checked my inbox for an email – nothing. At the risk of sounding like a stalker (as you can’t actually call them). I physically went into the restaurant and said “Hello, I was just in the area (no really I was, I was at Black by Ezard) and thought I would check that my booking had gone through?”. To which the maitre d’ responded ” I’m afraid someone else has taken it”.
It took me another 3 attempts before I finally got through. I think half the battle is not knowing how crack-addict-jack-hammer fast you have to be and the sheer ambiguity of it all.
As a result of going to battle, I have compiled a go to strategy (pictures included) that will surely help you ‘work’ or better yet, ‘beat’ the system.
So to my food porn-y people, best of luck!
1. The Magic Number is 10
Reservations open at 10 and the reservation bookings are for exactly 10 days in advance. Coordinating and forecasting skills between guests will need to be in top form.
2. Get a Log In
You will need your very own log in account before you even think about making a reservation. Make sure to create your log in well before 10:00am.
3. You Can Only Book For…
1-4 people for 7:00pm, 7:30pm & 8:00pm time slots
4. Hit Refresh
I have the maitre d’ to thank for this little golden ticket.
When the clock strikes 9. Log in.
Log in and then set your alarm to 9:58 and hit refresh, refresh, refresh… until… BWWONG… the clock strikes 10.
5. Time is of the Essence
Every single moment counts. Right down to the last milli-second. Move with haste!
Ignore the stop watch that says “Your reservation will be held for 120 seconds”. It’s all a bunch of crap!
6. Credit Card? Check
Make sure you have your credit card handy. Not knowing this cost me another day! Another day of refreshing, sitting around for the 10:00am to roll around and going through that god forsaken agonising process – AGAIN.
In fact, (and this is what I did) type out your credit card number in a word document, copy it and when you are about to enter your credit card details, hit Ctrl V and paste that bad boy right in.
Unfortunately I don’t have claiming rights on this baby right here. This one’s Emma’s.
7. Be calm
Sounds so ridiculous, I know.
But let it be known, I simply could not keep my sh*t together. I kept pressing the wrong keys, dropping my wallet and credit card several times. I even had to crawl underneath my desk at work to retrieve the slippery little sucker. And there’s a bloody stop watch, which is enough to make anyone sweat!
Which in any case, leads me to my next point…
8. Buddy up
I wasn’t planning on this one. Jem from work wanted to join in on the commotion (or spectacle rather) and observe how I would go about securing a booking. I think she had heard enough of me ranting and raving. The poor thing does sit right next to me and I think she wanted to watch me suffer or succeed. Which ever the two came first.
She watched and laughed in absolute disbelief as to how frantically I would manoeuvre across the keyboard. I finally got to the last section, smack bang pasted my credit card details in, hit ‘ok’ and nothing.
Hit, hit, hit! Nothing,nothing, nothing!!!
It turns out, I forgot:
– the CCV number;
– to accept the terms and conditions; and
– to change the credit card type to Amex.
Yes I am Stimpy and I am an idiot. And yes those errors were all in the same booking.
9. Email Confirmation
If you really got a booking you would have received an email that will look like Exhibit A (see below). There is no need to physically pop in and confirm, like I did.
10. Can’t be Bothered?
You can always try your luck by popping in. I was told by the maitre d’ that Momfuku Seiōbo must set aside tables for the hotel guests in the event they have any last minute bookings and a lot of the time they are not taken. Realistically, your best bet would be to try your luck between Monday – Thursday. This also applies for bookings online. But then again, I went in on a Friday and there were two tables empty.
If you are a bit of a glory hunter and you are only after the Momofuku’s signature pork buns, you can simply eat, drink and order them at the bar.
Welcome to Momofuku me, Top 10 Tricks to Get You In. Over and out.
The Star 80 Pyrmont Street
Pyrmont, NSW 2009