"I've fallen in love with Australia. I'm just fascinated by the food scene in Sydney and Melbourne. People are excited about food in Australia. It's fresh and it's energetic." - David Chang, Chef/Owner, Momofuku
Smack in the middle of the Sydney Star Casino, the doors of the first Momofuku outside of the US are now open. After giving up so many earthly pleasures in this lifetime, I am still allowed to eat food. And my god does David Chang do food well.
After creating my user name last November for the Momofuku website, I'd diligently log in every morning before 10am .. the precise time the bookings opened up. Day after day I'd watch all of the green ticks turn to red in front of my eyes. I'd try again the next day, then the next. My whole morning was planned around where I would be at 10am. In a pump class? I'd put my weights down and walk outside, frantically tapping on my phone. Driving on the freeway? Pull over. In a shop? Crouched down, manically trying to secure a highly-coveted reservation.
No dice. I stopped myself from going on twitter tirades many times, for fear of retribution. David is partial to an angry tweet himself, so I didn't want to wreck my chances of eating his stuff. But man I wanted to tweet ... "Momofuku? More like MOMO FUCK YOUUUU."
Finally it happened. I now know *exactly* how Charlie Bucket felt at the first glint of gold. Booking was secured ... on a Friday night no less. 7pm. Sharp.
WE WERE GOING TO EAT AT MOMOFUKU.
What's so good about it? Only everything. Chang is one of the world's most influential chefs. Last year, he was named on Time's list of the 100 people who most affect our world. He's passionate and fiery, a swearing genius.
We walked in to the sleek, dark restaurant bang on 7pm to begin the fifteen-course degustation menu. Taking our seats at the table overlooking the kitchen I was so bloody excited. And self-conscious. The chef's looked at us as much as we looked over to them. The cooking of the food was a floor show - no, a rock concert. And we scored front row seats.
The music was jammin' so I start shazammin'. The head chef walked over and said, "Ahhh, you are shazamming?" Busted. I just laughed - song was Mickey Avalon singing Jane Fonda. I kept having to tell myself to act cool.
The thing about real food is, IT'S REAL. Kind of controversial in today's processed, chemical-laded world. David Chang plays it down, says, "Look, we're not out there curing cancer." He's right. But the thing is, eating such fresh and tasty things reminds me of not only how food is supposed to be, but how life is supposed to be. Something about intention and purpose and passion.
I am not a food blogger. I just like to celebrate good shit.
Hands down personal favourite was the pea agnolotti with parmesan and ham. I just know that every ingredient is specifically sourced and carefully made from scratch. Sometimes I stare out the window and think of that agnolotti. True story.
One of the desserts. Just heaven on a plate. All of it.
After the desserts were done ... out came the pulled pork and brown sugar. I KNOW. How the hell can you eat a main after the sweets? Well, you just do. With your fingers and the juice runs down your arm and you lick. The self-consciousness wears off after a while.
One of my favourite parts of the evening was when a complete loudmouthed wanker and his hooker girlfriend sat down next to us. I had the pleasure of watching the chef's reaction when his mobile phone rang really loudly and he sat there, talking on it. Gold. Both chef's stopped what they were doing and just watched with a shitload of amusement and annoyance. A waiter asked him to get the hell off his phone. I sat there smug, secretly shazzamin'.
The only thing this post is sponsored by is my pants, and how happy David Chang made them after I had finished eating.
Immediately opposite the restaurant is Zumbo's. We went inside and thought about buying some of his famous macarons...
.. but didn't. Too full. I snapped this photo anyway, specifically for my homie Magneto Bold who is the macaron QUEEN. During the night I thought of a few online peeps who would love it - Kim from All Consuming and Beth from BabyMac.
The Everyman Kitchen - a cool chef and baker and cook over in the Americaz - summed it up best after he saw my Momofuku instagram pics.
"That Chang ... he's one of the good guys."
He really is.
Momofuku pork buns taste EXACTLY how this song sounds.