Archive for the ‘Fusion’ Category

Darrell Felstead at Foveaux Restaurant (One Hat) puts forward a weird and wonderful menu to suit the adventurous diner. You have a nose to tail philosophy, a creative flair for reinvention and a pairing of unlikeliest of food types. Surely that should pique anyone’s interest? The menu challenges you conceptually and can be confronting if you’re not quite game. There’s the pepper nachos and sour cream ice cream which is said to quite popular or the duck cheese served with smoked duck and cuttlefish. What… is that all together? Or perhaps the veal tail is more to your taste? No matter where you turn, you can’t hide. It is not for the faint hearted and I like that. A lot.

With a Groupon voucher I was able to sample the menu at a reduced cost and for two people we received an entree and main for $59.

Prices quoted below are at al la carte prices.

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Decked out over 4 floors of incredible space, the interior will take you into a wonderland of graffiti walls, neon lights and communal dining space with the help-yourself-arrangement of cutlery, chopsticks, hot sauce and seasonings.

Awarded a one hat out of a possible three, it is respectively the most unconventional and deviant one hatter on the scene. It is all very tongue in cheek hailing tribute to the MSG code with the flashing “six two one” neon sign out front, or perhaps it’s the thought behind their signature dessert “stoner’s delight”. The secret ingredient? The mind of a stoner. Fun and games continue with their slushie bubble tea cocktails. Cute caricatures are printed on the seal, with mouths wide open urging you to pop your straw and drink up.

For Sunday lunch, Ms G’s offers up a lunch menu at a fraction of the price – the “tick the box” menu for $45p/p. Ticking my way through the menu we are allowed to pick 2 starters, 2 small savoury dishes, 2 large savoury dishes and one dessert. Then enough food is brought out based on our per person count. Slushie Sundays also brings the price down of the bubble tea cocktails to 5 big ones instead of the usual $14.

Note: all prices quoted below are the al la carte prices.

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Brought to you by a husband and wife team, Devon Cafe is lead by a formidable ex-legion of Guillaume chefs right at the helm. Stirring double the trouble, Devon has two ex-Guillaume chefs. One from Guillaume at Bennelong and the other from Bistro Guillaume, Melbourne.

Meeting with Derek (husband) & Noni (wife), you quickly begin to understand their passion and love behind their food. They intend to push if not, merge the boundaries between fine dining and casual cafe culture, turning their food-baby-love-child (Devon) into something really special. food collage - thin border fpn

collage - thin border fpn

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Relatively new to lower north shore area, this has fast become one of my personal favourites and probably one of the area’s best kept secrets.

It houses a hot pot of all your asian favourites… but served tapas. I’m talking Jap, Malay, Filo and Chinese food all served in the one convenient location.

SpaAsian tapas? How glorious! And if you come between Mon-Wed, you can even get their $10 tapas.

Sounds too good to be true but the owner (Alan) has made great strides to maintain the integrity of the combination of all these flavours. Housing a Filipino chef, a Malaysian chef, Alan has personally taken care of the rest by recreating Chinese home made favourites and studying Japanese cookery.

spice crusted tofu

We begin with the spice crusted tofu and it is a wonderful play on your humble agedashi tofu. In fact, I think it is much better.

The tofu is squared off into bite sized pieces providing more surface area for a nice and crisp exterior. The edges of the tofu are super crusty and equally find themselves with a healthy dosage of soy.

Sprinkled on the top are the bonito flakes which to my surprise, are literally dancing along my tofu in beautiful symmetry.

chicken san choi bao

The san choi bao is pretty mind blowing. Delivering generously on flavour and texture. It rightfully upholds all the flavours and is quite incredible. This is one dish that should not to be missed.

roast pork belly pancake 1

roast pork belly pancake 2

The roast pork belly pancake plays on a Chinese favourite. Instead of peking duck, here we have roast pork belly, all pre-prepared with all the trimmings and it is absolutely incredible.

The pork is slippery, silky and packed full of flavour. It doesn’t have the crunch factor of the skin but the flavour wholeheartedly offsets the need for texture. But then again, crackling is not something I would ever say no to!

pork and prawn wontons

I am told by the owner that the pork and prawn wontons were just hand made and they usually are.
Alan, grew up with his grandma making these family favourite for him as a child and lucky for us, he too has decided to pass on this family gem.

The translucent skin is neatly tucked around to expose the fleshy prawns and meaty pork filling. These dumplings are really quite remarkable that there really are no words.

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One of the things that I love about my job is that everyone at my office, loves food.

My boss is no exception. We regularly talk about food, new places on our hit list and we constantly share recipes and products.

To celebrate our 3 month milestone together, she decided to surprise me at sushi e. If I had I known, I probably would have brought my camera but then it wouldn’t have been much of a surprise. Nonetheless, I still managed to take photos with my iPhone. Given the quality of the my experience here, I couldn’t resist the temptation of putting a post together for you to see.

prawn shumai

prawn shumai $18.5
chinese influenced steamed prawn dumpling with ponzu dipping sauce

Ms G started our order with the prawn shumai, insisting that it was a sushi e must have. I can see why you wouldn’t want to give these dumplings a miss. The prawn fillings were plump and sweet. The wrappers were thin and delicate with the ponzu perfect for dipping.

goma ae

goma ae $13.5
Japanese spinach salad with sesame paste

The spinach was dressed to impress and coated with the most luscious and nutty sesame paste that brought your bland old spinach to something that is worth longing for.

salmon tartare

salmon tartare $25.0
salmon sashimi combined with onion, lemon and mayo then finished with generous serves of salmon roe and cucumber, then dressed with a wasabi ponzu dressing

Chef Nobuyuki Ira said, “the trick to eating this dish is to mix the tartare and roe until it is completely combined. Then use the deep fried wonton wrappers to scoop up the mix”.

Ms G and I gave each other this pained look, as we couldn’t bear the thought of tearing it apart. (I was also concerned that I wouldn’t get my fair share of roe!)

But we did as we were told. We mixed and we scooped.

The result was absolutely mouthwatering, it was outrageous.The explosive pearls, creamy flesh and wonton crisps made us get over our guilt trip, post-haste. Reminding me distinctively of the sashimi taco at Sake Restaurant.

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La Porte De Indes is not like your typical Indian restaurants. It’s Indian with a twist and it showcases food from the Pondicherry region, a former French colony. So you can imagine how this place piqued my interest at the promise of an overlap between French and Indian cuisine.

First up, I couldn’t resist the temptation of tandoori seared foie gras. The wondrous slab of foie gras came accompanied with naan bread, fig and ginger chutney. This was beautifully rich and was perfectly juxtaposed with the sweetness of the chutney.

foie gras

Foie Gras – £13.00: Tandoori seared, served on a crisp honey naan bread with a fig and ginger chutney.

The scallops were fresh, juicy and plum and were left in a pool of garlic and saffron sauce which I found very buttery and creamy.

scallops

Demoiselles de Pondichéry – £12.00: Large juicy grilled king scallops with a hint of garlic in a mild saffron sauce.

One thing that La Portes De Indes is famous for, is for their tandoori grill. The lamb chops were marinated in yoghurt, brown onions and garam marsala and served with a delicious mint chutney. These are so delicious it’s best to just unleash your animal instincts and gnaw them until they are bone dry.

lamb chops

Barra Lamb Chops – £19.00: lamb marinated with browned onions, yoghurt and garam masala; char grilled to perfection, served with mint chutney.

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Apologies, it has been a while. I promise, I haven’t forgotten about you. Sometimes, things take over and get in the way of your food porn dreams. Including mine! Nevertheless here I am, Momofuku and all.

Momofuku Seiobo is not your typical establishment. It’s in your face and a robust up yours to the fine dining scene. Blasting Hip Hop, Grunge and Motown jams with an air of cool nonchalance mixed with the odd cuss from the chefs and staff. Who both, personally run table service to all guests. This is not for the everyone.  After that wretched booking system, it seems that the million dollar question is. “Is it worth the hype?” It does hold a $175 price tag and 2 hours later, I was bound to find out.

shiitake chips, nori, mochi and smoke potato with apple

The shiitake chips, nori and mochi had an interesting textural play on your japanese favourites. While the textures and reconstructions were quite playful I found there were nothing out of the ordinary in terms of the actual taste. Alternatively, the smoked potato with apple was definitely a knockout. The potato had these intense smokey tones and the encasing just crumbled under the slightest pressure when bitten.  And when you think you have missed the apple and you’re ready to say ‘it’s over red rover’, the apple comes in right on the finish giving your palette a pleasant fruit tingle.

steamed pork belly bun, cucumber, hoisin and chilli sauce

The moment we had all been waiting for. The groping of the lengendary David Chang’s pork buns. David’s pork belly is lusciously fat and full of flavour, wrapped inside a baby bum soft bun with a drizzle of that sweet sweeeet… hoisin sauce. Think deconstructed duck pancake. Delicious? Why yes. But I couldn’t help but feel surprised that this was the signature dish. Bloggers and friends seem to unanimously unite and say that David’s pork buns are better in the NYC noodle house. Who am I to judge though? I have never been.

sea mullet, nectarine and szechuan pepper

I am sad to admit that I found this dish very bland. The szechuan pepper and nectarine oil simply did not do this beautiful slice of pink sea mullet justice. I found the sea mullet was over powered with the szechuan pepper while the nectarine flavours were difficult to trace. There were also deep fried fish scales scattered along this dish. I did not like this one bit.

marron, fennel and dill

This dish was very tasty. I love it when you feel yourself bite through a perfectly plump sweet piece of marron. The mix of flavours were delicious with the squid ink puree was simply the perfect way to top it off.

wagyu beef cubes, radish and fermented beans

I loved the idea behind this dish. Eating spoonfuls of wagyu cubes topped with perfectly rounded wafer thin radish slivers. Again, I am sad to report that I felt there wasn’t a strong harmony across the flavours. I secretly wished that the Wagyu cubes were large enough for me to rip my teeth through them. At this size I could have swallowed them whole and due to the tiny morsels, it wasn’t really showing much pink. Which I personally think makes the best eye candy! The fermented black beans didn’t really do it for me either, so I steered clear.

smoked eel, jerusalem artichoke and pink grapefruit served with broth

The smoked eel, jerusalem artichoke and pink grapefruit was a pleasant dish with the sunflower seed puree combining it all. However, the broth was absolutely sensational. Its rich and deeply inherent flavours took over and I simply wanted to let go. So stunning and so remarkable it left me with my eyes wide shut.

mud crub, old bay, yorkshire pudding

Paying homage to our Mother England. Here we have crab pieces lavished with a marmite, pepper and butter sauce. This is served with a yorkshire pudding that just slurps up the butter sauce. Yummo!

egg, toasted rice brown butter

The steamed egg with toasted rice and brown butter is a very clever dish. An adaptation of an egg, it has an unusual interplay of textures that is simultaneously firm, delicate, wobbly and gelatinous. Served with a spoon, the spoon simply glides through the reconstructed egg like a hot knife through butter, only to reveal the gooey yolk centre that oozes out. Oh and if you’re wondering? It tastes like egg!

This dish is easily the most understated and unquestionably the best dish of the night. David’s Pork bun, who? The agnolotti is encased with a pea puree and adorned with ham and a parmesan foam. To eat this dish, spoon the agnolotti into place and dip it into the creamy foam while collecting the ham morsels. Place the spoonful in your mouth, let the foam sit there and taste it. Then push your tongue to the roof of your mouth and feel the puree centre burst inside of you. So heavenly, I would go through the agony of that booking system again, just to experience this dish once more.

Momo 18

mulloway, smoked roe and letttuce

Another fine dish, the mulloway and the sauce was a tasty little number. The to die for smoked roe gave it that surge of flavour that brought this meal from good to great. It had such an incredible flavour!

lamb neck, onion and mustard seeds

After all that seafood, I was pretty happy to be see red! I loved how evenly pink, juicy and perfectly tender this lamb neck was. The sweet onions, caramelised jus paired with the tang of the mustard seeds was lovely. At this point, I was so full but it was so good, I had to put this bad boy away.

honey licorice, bee pollen with cheese

To eat this dessert, you must dip your spoon vertically, from top to bottom making sure you capture all three layers, until you reach the goo tucked away at the bottom. This was a savoury, salty and sweet combination. It was extremely cheesy and I loved it.

peach, rose and pistacchio

Yum, yum, yum. I absolutely adored this dish too. The peaches felt like they had been soaked in bowl of tender goodness which was  juxtaposed with a creamy pistacchio ice cream and white meringue shards. Another great dessert.

Miso, cherries & black sesame

Oh stop it. I normally hate dessert. Why turn me now? The black sesame dust is sprinkled over the miso ice cream while the cherry sauce is concealed underneath. Again, make sure you push through all the layers and consume all the flavours all at once.

Petit Four Pork Shoulder - Whole

I had been eyeing this baby…

All… night…long.

Hubba hubba. Ring a ding dong.

I couldn’t take my eyes of it. I watched the Chefs’ slice it, man handle it, baste it and drizzle this beautiful specimen before service. Yes, very perve-y of me but I couldn’t stop glaaazing over it. To the point of being rude! I was neglecting the customary eye contact during dinner conversation. Oopsy. But you know, a lot of love went into that shoulder and I was going to love it right back.

I cheekily asked if I could take a photo of it, so I could get closer to it. They kindly brought the “hunk of love” over and gave me 2 minutes with it. *Snap, snap, snap*. Ohh yes… Now, I can have you my darling, forever…

Petit Four Pork Shoulder

Finally, there I was. Pork shoulder and I. Alone together with nothing between us, except Brazil and Emma to get in the way and a hot towel to wipe off the aftermath. Shy and a complete frigid at first, I couldn’t bring myself to press the meat slices in between my fingers. With a few words of encouragement, I plucked up the courage, I went for the grab and the rest is history. Tender, sticky pieces of pork leaving its sticky traces all over the place. Aaah… a piece of meat worth dying for. Why thank you miss piggy.

Was it worth the hype?

I am going to be really annoying and sit on the fence and say, “yes and no”. This was the general consensus amongst the group. Yes it a good meal and overall we did enjoy it. Given the price tag, the lengthy booking process, it was hard to support the hype due to some of the hits and misses throughout the night. Despite all that is said and done, Momofuku certainly pushes the boundaries and takes you to the limits. And at the end of the day, isn’t that what food is all about?

Welcome to Momofuku and to white picket fences. Over and out.

Momofuku Seiōbo on Urbanspoon

Momofuku Seiōbo on Urbanspoon

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

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.

momofuku - green

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