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Sunday, December 04, 2016

Momofuku Seiobo, Sydney

Crab in chicken skin at Momofuku Seiobo at the Star in Sydney

There's an easy way to score a seat at Sydney's Momofuku Seiobo restaurant. Stroll in and pull up a seat at the bar. There's no need to make a booking. Just five seats line the bar, offering patrons the chance to eat and drink as little or as much as they please. You can slip in any time Monday to Friday night. And why wouldn't you when there are chicken skin tacos on the menu. Oh. Did that get your attention?

Bar seating at Momofuku Seiobo at the Star in Sydney
Bar seating at Momofuku Seiobo

I'd been keen to revisit Momofuku Seiobo after last dining there in 2013. Since then, Paul Carmichael from Momofuku's Ma Peche in New York has taken over from Ben Greeno (snapped up by Merivale to head up The Paddington), quietly peppering the menu with his own Barbados-born flair.

Skin contact wine at Momofuku Seiobo at the Star in Sydney
Skin contact Franco Terpin 'Quinto Quarto' pinot grigio $45 for 375ml
Friuli Venezia Giulia, Italy

Admittedly there's not a whole lot to look at from our vantage point at the bar. Unlike the counter seating in the main dining area which offers you a birds eye view of the kitchen, the most action you'll find in the bar area is enthusiastic glass polishing and the occasional ladder to reach a bottle of wine from the top shelf.

We don't find the bar staff particularly chatty either, even when we seek recommendations on specific sakes. Sitting at the bar does guarantee you'll get your drinks quickly. We started with a skin contact pinot grigio, served in a carafe that looks just like a glass penguin.

Snapper ceviche at Momofuku Seiobo at the Star in Sydney
Snapper ceviche with macadamia and jalapeno $14

The bar menu is a short and sweet listing of five savoury dishes and one dessert. We order all of them of course. The snapper ceviche is a refreshing way to start, sweet curls of marinated snapper set atop a lake of macadamia cream. Thin slices of jalapeno provide a gentle kick.

Crab and chicken skin at Momofuku Seiobo at the Star in Sydney
Crab, chicken and thousand island $18

The crab, chicken and thousand island looks like a taco but is actually more of a crackling sandwich. You cannot eat this without making a mess but that's half the fun. Long and thin shards of chicken skin crackling are used to sandwich a filling of handpicked crab mixed with thousand island dressing. It's sweet and creamy, crunch and salty, and so darned delicious you'll immediately want to order another one. Or two.

Snapper fish head at Momofuku Seiobo at the Star in Sydney
Snapper fish head $18

We're told of one off-menu item: the snapper fish head. We snap it up. Pronto. This is incredibly tasty, the fish slathered generously with coconut milk, chilli, tumeric and onion. It's the kind of dish you could imagine Carmichael might have grown up with. We strip the bones clean, savouring every last bit of caramelised and spiced up flesh.

Busted roti at Momofuku Seiobo at the Star in Sydney
Busted roti $8

Roti might seem like a strange thing to serve in a high end restaurant, but roti is hugely popular across the Caribbean. In Trinidad, they call it "buss-up shut" because it looks more like a busted up, or torn up shirt.

Here, the busted roti is a scrunched up flatbread of supreme crunch. The entire surface area is crisp so you get a satisfying crack with every bite. I don't know how much butter or oil is used on this, but trust me, it's worth it. We ordered two serves and the roti still retained its crunch after 15 minutes.

Waldorf salad with blue cheese and grape at Momofuku Seiobo at the Star in Sydney
Waldorf salad, blue cheese and grape $12

The kitchen had sent out the snapper and roti head to eat as a pair. Next we have waldorf salad and the Kurobuta pork chop matched together. Each combo works perfectly.

The waldorf salad is a reminder of how goo this salad can be, not so heavy on the mayo but more of a light and refreshing assembly of crisp baby cos and apple covered in a cloud of grated cheese. The blue cheese in the dressing is subtle. Walnuts and halved grapes add textural interest.

Kurobuta pork chop at Momofuku Seiobo at the Star in Sydney
Kurobuta pork chop, jerk and burnt lime $42

The Kurobuta pork chop is everything that is good about pork. It's succulent and juicy with the fatty edges charred to a blackened sweetness. The meat is cooked perfectly. There's a terrific hit of cinnamon and all spice in the jerk rub. Squeezing over the burnt lime adds an extra caramelises tang.

Coconut turnover at Momofuku Seiobo at the Star in Sydney
Coconut turnover $12

We're warned that the coconut turnover will take 20 minutes but there are no arguments when it arrives fresh from the oven.

Inside the coconut turnover at Momofuku Seiobo at the Star in Sydney
Inside the coconut turnover

The coconut turnover is a loaf of dough rolled up with fresh coconut, cinnamon, nutmeg and demerara sugar. It's a typical Barbadian dessert that reminds me a little of a Chinese cocktail bun. The version at Momofuku Seiobo is made even more luxe with the addition of a coconut cream cheese icing.

Usually coconut turnovers are sized for one, but the one here is so large we easily share it between three people.

Nori caramel popcorn at Momofuku Seiobo at the Star in Sydney
Nori caramel popcorn

As we mull over the last of our wines, the kitchen sends out a complimentary serve of their nori caramel popcorn. It's a sweet and salty combo that proves incredibly addictive. The caramel has a salty tinge and the inclusion of seaweed mellows out the overall sweetness.

Our favourite dishes of the evening were definitely the Barbadian ones. The snapper fish head, that juicy pork and the busted roti are all winners. Feel like taking a punt? Trying to score a seat at the bar might be your best bet yet.

Head chef Paul Carmichael at Momofuku Seiobo at the Star in Sydney
Head chef Paul Carmichael alongside sous chef Cian Mulholland


Momofuku Seiōbo Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Momofuku Seiobo at the Star
80 Pyrmont Street, Sydney

Opening hours
Bar Monday to Friday 6pm-10pm

Restaurant
Lunch Saturday 12pm-2pm
Dinner Monday to Saturday 6pm-10pm


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posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 12/04/2016 01:00:00 pm


Sunday, November 27, 2016

Automata, Chippendale

Cherry tomato with umeboshi in sesame leaf and enoki wrapped in wagyu beef and miso at Automata in Chippendale

A three course meal at Automata for $55? Yes please. The lunchtime-only offering on Fridays and Saturdays provides an express ticket through Automata's regularly changing menu. And we're not talking a meal that'll leave you ravenous. Appended to your three courses are complimentary snacks plus the famous chicken jus butter that accompanies their housemade bread. Now we're talking.

Clayton Wells' first solo restaurant has been open for over a year now, the culmination of a CV that has included stints at QuayTetsuya's, Noma and Momofuku Seiobo. In September this year, Automata was awarded two hats in the 2017 Good Food Guide Awards.

We're led to the long comnunal table that runs down the middle of the dining room and start with a duo of snacks. Neat little bundles of enoki mushrooms are wrapped up tightly in a scroll of wagyu beef. The thin slices of meat are incredibly tender, a terrific contrast against the gentle crunch of enoki mushrooms. Both work brilliantly with the umami saltiness of miso.

The green orb is a cherry tomato wrapped in sesame leaf. It's a game of suspense as we pop these into our mouths, enjoying the sweetness of tomato before an explosion of umeboshi pickled plums revs up our appetites.

Bread with chicken jus butter at Automata in Chippendale
Bread with chicken jus butter

The chicken jus butter at Automata needs no introduction. Everybody loves this stuff. The recipe seems to have changed a little since my last visit - it tastes like more butter and less jus - but it's still crazy addictive. The bread has changed too, switching from individual buns to slices of a mini wholewheat loaf.

The lightness of the butter is still a marvel. My dining companion is initially modest with the butter dispensation, but after only a mouthful, quickly dips his knife again to slather on more.

We have a complimentary serving of bread with our snacks and accept another portion offered between our entree and main. In a city where most places charge for bread, this gesture still stands out for its generosity.

Tuna, asparagus, arame seaweed and malt vinegar at Automata in Chippendale
Tuna, asparagus, arame seaweed and malt vinegar

Our entree comprises of three fat slabs of seared tuna splayed across a bed of asparagus and seaweed. There's more at play here than initially meets the eye. The tuna is fresh and firm, seared to a textbook measure of evenness on all sides. I relish the textural contrast of soft tuna against crunchy slices of young asparagus and the slender strands of arame seaweed. There's a balance too in flavours with the malt vinegar providing an acidic counterpoint to the sweetness of tuna.

Smoked duck, grilled greens and fermented pumpkin at Automata in Chippendale
Smoked duck, grilled greens and fermented pumpkin

Our main yields a whole smoked duck breast served with a panoply of greens. There's nothing to fault with the duck, cooked masterfully so the flesh is a succulent pink. The duck skin has been rendered to a crisp, snapping like a thin sheet of crackling.

Yogurt sorbet, tamarillo, mulberry, shio and kelp oil at Automata in Chippendale
Yogurt sorbet, tamarillo, mulberry, shiso and kelp oil

Dessert looks deceptively simple but again, there's more here than meets the eye. The yoghurt sorbet itself is instantly cooling, with an airiness that makes you feel like you're eating a frozen yoghurt marshmallow. Mulberries and tamarillo have been macerated so they tread a wavering line between tart and sweet but it's the inclusion of kelp oil, shiso leaves and sumac that really make your tastebuds question every mouthful, and then ask for more.

Squeeze this into a Friday lunch during work hours and you'd still have money left for the weekend. Win.

Entrance to Automata in Chippendale


Automata Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Automata
5 Kensington Street, Chippendale, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 8277 8555

Opening hours
Lunch Friday and Saturday 12pm-3pm

Dinner Tuesday to Saturday 6pm-12am


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posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 11/27/2016 03:00:00 pm


Sunday, November 20, 2016

LuMi Dining, Pyrmont

Chef Federico Zanellato in the kitchen at LuMi Dining in Pyrmont Sydney

Italian with a Japanese twist? Welcome to LuMi Dining. Head Chef Federico Zanellato first opened LuMi in late 2014, marrying Italian cuisine with influences from Japanese ingredients and technique. In September this year he took home the award for 2017 Good Food Guide Chef of the Year.

Dining room with open view of the wharf at LuMi Dining in Pyrmont Sydney
Dining room with open view of the water

LuMi had been on my to-eat list for some time now. I bumped it to the top to celebrate my birthday last week with some of my nearest and dearest. We arrive at the wharf for lunch on a 30C scorcher of a day. The shutter doors have been opened up for an uninterrupted view of the water but it does mean no air-conditioning. We rectify that with a bottle of sparkling NV Rustico prosecco ($70).

Shiitake mushroom tartlets at LuMi Dining in Pyrmont Sydney
Shiitake mushroom tartlets

At lunchtime you can skip the standard 8-course degustation for a swifter 5-course version. We stick with the 8-course version (because we can) and then face a series of decisions about our meal. Drinks? Oysters by the half-dozen? Optional caviar with your snapper? Additional mackerel course? So. Many. Decisions.

Once the food gets underway though, it's smooth sailing. We're surprised with three different snacks to start. The shiitake mushroom tartlets are a lesson in umami and crunch, crisp shells of fragile pastry loaded up with mushroom cream, tiny slices of shiitake mushroom and a cloud of finely shaved parmesan cheese.

Smoked ocean trout mousse in brik pastry at LuMi Dining in Pyrmont Sydney
Smoked ocean trout mousse in brik pastry with pickled radish and bush tomato powder

Long and elegant shards of brik pastry are used to sandwich a salty tang of smoked ocean trout mousse with slices of pickled radish. Sprinkled across the top of these delicate wafers is a dusting of zingy bush tomato powder.

Buckwheat chips with salt and white vinegar at LuMi Dining in Pyrmont Sydney
Buckwheat chips with salt and white vinegar

We also snack on buckwheat chips, as thin as a sheet of paper but as puffy in texture as a prawn cracker. These are super fragile, anointed with a smattering of salt and just enough white vinegar to ignite our appetites.

Snapper bone jelly with housemade creme fraiche at LuMi Dining in Pyrmont Sydney
Jelly made from snapper bones on housemade creme fraiche with lime and horseradish

We also receive an amuse bouche of snapper bone jelly - a cool and gelatinous wobble made by boiling snapper bones - piled on top of a splodge of housemade creme fraiche. There are segments of radish for crunch, tiny curls of lime zest and a whisper of horseradish too.

Housemade rye and spelt sourdough brioche at LuMi Dining in Pyrmont Sydney
Housemade rye and spelt sourdough brioche with burnt butter mascarpone

Next up is the housemade rye and spelt sourdough brioche, puffed up triumphantly like a royal crown. The brioche is buttery, soft and still warm from the oven. We slather it generously with a burnt butter mascarpone that is revelatory.

Snapper with roe emulsion and Calvius oscietra caviar at LuMi Dining in Pyrmont Sydney
Snapper with roe emulsion and fermented cucumber
with Calvius oscietra caviar $10 supplement 

Our first course - yes, only now - is the snapper, firm and fresh slices lightly cured and draped around a pretty-as-a-picture plate of roe emulsion and fermented cucumber juice. The flavours are bright and simple, topped off with the decadence of Calvius oscietra caviar that melts in the mouth like pearls of briny butter.

Sand crab with koji zabaione, green apple and fennel pollen at LuMi Dining in Pyrmont Sydney
Sand crab with koji zabaione, green apple and fennel pollen

A hillock of handpicked sand crab peeks out from an eiderdown of koji zabaione, the traditional Italian egg yolk and sugar dessert inoculated with koji, a fungus normally used to make sake, mirin and soy sauce. Its mild creaminess is an ideal match for the sweet crab morsels, contrasted with the tartness of green apple mini melon balls and green apple matchsticks.

Mushroom agnolotti with rye dashi at LuMi Dining in Pyrmont Sydney
Mushroom agnolotti with rye dashi

The four parcels of mushroom agnolotti give little away but one bite of these, and our mouths are flooded with an intense rush of porcini mushroom. It's a mushroom hit you can't help repeating until your plate is empty. The pasta sheets themselves are thin and silky, and there's an addictive quality to the puddle of rye dashi at the bottom, punctuated with manchego and a splash of truffle oil.

Making mushroom agnolotti at LuMi Dining in Pyrmont Sydney
Making the mushroom agnolotti

Later in the afternoon, we watch the chefs make the mushroom agnolotti in the kitchen, piping the porcini mushroom onto fresh pasta sheets before placing another sheet on top and cutting the shapes to size.

Chef Federico Zanellato plating the scialatiella in the kitchen at LuMi Dining in Pyrmont Sydney
Head chef Federico Zanellato plating the scialatielli

There's also a great deal of precision in our next dish, the scialetielli. Head chef Federico Zanellato is almost always involved in the plating of this dish, using long tweezers to shape the pasta into a lofty bundle.

Scialatelli with eel, bottarge and orange at LuMi Dining in Pyrmont Sydney
Scialatelli with eel, bottarga and orange

Scialatelli is an eggless fettuccine, a relative recent pasta shape that was first made in the 1960s in Amalfi. Our tightly assembled mountain of pasta is bound with a rich sauce made with smoked eel, orange zest, shaved bottarga and a touch of mouth-numbing sansho pepper. It's a salty carb hit in the best way possible.

Spanish mackerel with umeboshi butter at LuMi Dining in Pyrmont Sydney
Spanish mackerel with umeboshi butter and broad beans $17
Supplementary course 

We opt for the supplementary course, a slice of Spanish mackerel cooked gently so it's just off raw in the middle. The fish has none of the oily aftertaste you'd often associate with mackerel, served on a yellow half-moon of umeboshi butter alongside broad beans and deep fried parsley leaves.

Wagyu with eggplant and mustard at LuMi Dining in Pyrmont Sydney
Wagyu with eggplant and mustard

Our final savoury is wagyu beef short rib slow cooked at 68C. Short rib is already a meltingly fatty cut in the right hands, but wagyu beef short rib is another level of lusciousness. The beef is so tender you could slice it with a spoon. I take it in turns to dip the beef into the pearl eggplant puree - highly smoky but smooth - and the aerated mustard. The tiny green buds on top of the beef are angelica seeds.

Sorrel parfait at LuMi Dining in Pyrmont Sydney
Sorrel parfait

Pre-dessert is the sorrel parfait, a bewildering slab of green that looks more like a kitchen sponge. Its brittle construction dissolves quickly in the mouth, a palate-cleansing combination of licorice powder, sorrel and lime puree topped off with crumbled up smithereens of Fishermans Friend. Who has a sore throat now? Not us.

Liquid nitrogen in the kitchen at LuMi Dining in Pyrmont Sydney
Liquid nitrogen in the kitchen

Douglas Fir with rhubarb, raspberry and olive oil at LuMi Dining in Pyrmont Sydney
Douglas Fir with rhubarb, raspberry and olive oil

Our first dessert is the Douglas Fir. Mine came topped with a birthday candle! Described by our waiter as "like eating a Christmas tree", the Douglas Fir ice cream is indented for a pool of extra virgin olive oil. The dessert veers between the tartness of rhubarb and raspberry, the lemony creaminess of the Douglas Fir ice cream and the grassy notes of olive oil.

Yuzu tart at LuMi Dining in Pyrmont Sydney
Yuzu tart

We finish with a thin slice of yuzu tart, a tangy wobble of aromatic citrus set on a semolina base. A fine layer of yukari - purple shiso powder mixed with salt - adds to the tang. Its sugar-crusted bruleed surface provides a touch of bitterness, plus the crunch of toffee.

Lunch ends up taking us about 3.5 hours to get through, but its a worthwhile journey. The food is inventive without feeling overly fussy, and there's a mature restraint that underpins each dish. Would I go again? Definitely.

LuMi Dining in Pyrmont in Sydney


LuMi Bar & Dining Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

LuMi Dining
56 Pirrama Road, Pyrmont, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9571 1999

Opening hours
Lunch Friday to Sunday 12pm-4pm
Dinner Wednesday to Sunday 6.30pm-10.30pm


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posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 11/20/2016 12:59:00 am


Monday, November 14, 2016

Good Luck Pinbone, Kensington

Mike Eggert and Jemma Whiteman on the woks in the kitchen at Good Luck Pinbone in Kingsford

Pinbone is back, but not as you know it. After a 15-month long hiatus, the original trio have flung open the doors at their newest joint, Good Luck Pinbone. Don't go looking for maple bacon tarts and chocolate crackles with parfait. Chefs Mike Eggert and Jemma Whiteman have u-turned the menu to modern Chinese, a throwback to their former gigs in the kitchen at Billy Kwong. Berri Eggert (Mike's sister) is back on the floor.

"We love cooking in woks," said Mike in his recent podcast interview on The Mitchen. Pinbone did hold a Chinese-themed lunch during their recent tenure at 10 William Street. In the podcast, Mike also revealed that alternate restaurant names bantered about included Imperial Pinbone Palace (total winner!) and 121AP, a reference to their address on Anzac Parade. [Note: It's worth listening to the podcast just to hear Mike's spot-on impersonation of 121BC co-owner Giorgio De Maria.]

Berri Eggert on the floor at Good Luck Pinbone in Kingsford
Berri Eggert on the floor

The decision to open in Kingsford might come as a surprise to many. It's not Surry Hills, Darlinghurst nor Chippendale (gasp). Much of the decision seems to have been based on the condition and suitability of available sites. The team searched across Sydney and beyond - including the original Arnotts bakery in Morpeth - before finally settling on the old Sushi Tengoku site, a Japanese restaurant famed for its mega-sized sushi.

The red pagoda roof still remains. Apart from that, it's bare walls given a deliberately wonky pastel pink and peach colour scheme. There are just 38 mustard-coloured school chairs in the dining room with four stools at the bar counter.

Citrus and quimen iced tea at Good Luck Pinbone in Kingsford
Citrus and quimen iced tea $6

The team have yet to pursue a liquor licence so BYO is available at $5 a head. The drinks list does include unlimited jasmine tea ($4pp) plus several non-alcoholic drinks, including a refreshing citrus and quimen iced tea, paper pineapple included.

Pickled radish, carrot and turnip at Good Luck Pinbone in Kingsford
Pickled radish, carrot and turnip $8

We visited on its first night of opening, and watched Berri rip down the brown paper sheets covering the windows with more glee than ceremony. We start with pickles, a happy mix of crunchy baby radishes, carrot wedges and tiny turnips scattered with toasted sesame seeds.

Sashimi silver trevally, soy milk and burnt cabbage at Good Luck Pinbone in Kingsford
Sashimi silver trevally, soy milk and burnt cabbage $18

The menu includes influences from across Asia, including a Japanese-style sashimi silver trevally carefully draped with shards of smoky burnt cabbage, segments of pink pomelo and a puddle of cooked soy milk.

Kangaroo tataki, herbs and butter lettuce at Good Luck Pinbone in Kingsford
Kangaroo tataki, herbs and butter lettuce $17

Kangaroo tataki is skilfully cooked to a tender deep pink. We're instructed to wrap up the rare kangaroo slices, shiso and fluffy bamboo fungus into the side serve of soft butter lettuce leaves.

Eggplant sambal, black fungus and coriander at Good Luck Pinbone in Kingsford
Eggplant sambal, black fungus and coriander $16

We move more into what feels like Malaysian territory with the eggplant sambal. It's a sticky and sweet mess of caramelised eggplant melded with garlic and sambal chilli paste. Black fungus adds a pleasing crunch.

Stir-fried potato, bean sprouts and raw yolk at Good Luck Pinbone in Kingsford
Stir-fried potato, bean sprouts and raw yolk $15

The classic dish of spicy Sichuan stir-fried potatoes takes a different route here with the inclusion of a raw egg yolk.

Mixing raw egg yolk into stir-fried potato and bean sprouts at Good Luck Pinbone in Kingsford
Mixing the raw egg yolk into the potato and bean sprouts

It's a much lighter dish than the hot and sour heat of the original. The potatoes are also mixed through with bean sprouts, impressively trimmed of every tail - we pity the workhorse who's been lumped with this job!

Chongqing crispy spatchcock with chilli peanuts at Good Luck Pinbone in Kingsford
Chongqing crispy spatchcock with chilli peanuts $32

Chongqing crispy spatchcock is one of my highlights of the night. The spatchcock (that's a young rooster to you) is superbly juicy, covered in dried red chillies, crispy shallots and possibly the world's biggest roasted peanuts.

Blue swimmer crab with white pepper sauce at Good Luck Pinbone in Kingsford
Blue swimmer crab with white pepper sauce $30

The blue swimmer crab with white pepper sauce packs a surprising fermented shrimp paste punch. There's a reason why this one is usually served last. The going will be slow and messy but trust me, it's worth it - the crab flesh is sweet and tasty.

We make a last minute order for the mung bean noodles ($15 and no photo because darkness had fallen by now). They're not as chewy and bouncy as you'd expect but still impressive when you realise these are made in-house. The noodles are hand-sliced with a special cutter. Be warned: these noodles are a garlic bomb.

Chilli cucumber pickle at Good Luck Pinbone in Kingsford
Chilli cucumber pickle $6

We return two days later to attack the rest of the menu. After opening at 6pm on a Saturday night, the place is full by 6.03pm. We're glad we lined up early (it's no bookings).

Chilli cucumber pickles are just what we need to get our appetites going, with all kinds of crunch, juiciness and zing.

Pickled radish, carrot and turnip at Good Luck Pinbone in Kingsford
Pickled radish, carrot and turnip $8

And we also tuck into the pickled radish, carrot and turnip.

Peach iced tea and grape and orange soda at Good Luck Pinbone in Kingsford
Peach iced tea $6
Grape and orange soda $6

We order the peach iced tea and the grape and orange soda. Their light fruitiness works brilliantly with the dishes, and who can resist those tissue paper fruit pom poms?!

Sashimi silver trevally, soy milk and burnt cabbage at Good Luck Pinbone in Kingsford
Sashimi silver trevally, soy milk and burnt cabbage $18

We run through the sashimi silver trevally again...

Kangaroo tataki, herbs and butter lettuce at Good Luck Pinbone in Kingsford
Kangaroo tataki, herbs and butter lettuce $17

as well as the kangaroo tataki.

Raw prawn, Sichuan oil, butter, bread and seaweed at Good Luck Pinbone in Kingsford
Raw prawn, Sichuan oil, butter, bread and seaweed $16

Raw prawns are served with triangles of generously buttered white bread, like a soft version of prawn toast.

Raw prawn with Sichuan oil on buttered bread at Good Luck Pinbone in Kingsford
Raw prawn with Sichuan oil on buttered bread

This is probably one of the few dishes that has echoes of the old Pinbone in Woollahra. There it was soft white bread with mascarpone cream, flying fish roe and caviar. Here it's the subtle sweetness of raw prawns livened with Sichuan oil and the gentle crunch of seaweed.

Stir-fried squid, swedes and green chilli at Good Luck Pinbone in Kingsford
Stir-fried squid, swedes and green chilli $18

Swedes make a surprise appearance outside of soup, sauteed here with tender strips of squid and finely sliced green chilli.

Eggplant sambal, black fungus and coriander at Good Luck Pinbone in Kingsford
Eggplant sambal, black fungus and coriander $16

The eggplant sambal is just as good the second time around. I could eat a truckload of this on just a bowl of plain white rice.

Black bean, ginger, pork spare ribs and dried longans at Good Luck Pinbone in Kingsford
Black bean, ginger, pork spare ribs and dried longans $26

Pork spare ribs are marinated with black bean, ginger and chilli. This reminds me of pai gwut at yum cha, but super-sized. We eat up all the soft bones and relish the sweet tendrils of dried longans.

Smoked eel with celtuce and shiso at Good Luck Pinbone in Kingsford
Off menu: smoked eel with celtuce and shiso

The kitchen sends out an off menu dish on the house, a ensemble of smoked eel, celtuce and shiso. Celtuce, also known as Chinese lettuce or steam lettuce, is a type of lettuce grown specifically for its stick stems. You may have seen these in Asian grocery stores - the stems look like a longer and less knobbled version of wasabi roots. The deep green vegetable tastes much like celery but without the annoying strings.

It's a tasty number that we hope will be added to the menu.

Chongqing crispy spatchcock with chilli peanuts at Good Luck Pinbone in Kingsford
Chongqing crispy spatchcock with chilli peanuts $32

The Chongqing crispy spatchcock delivers again with golden brown skin and succulent flesh. The dried chillies and sichuan peppercorns will make your tongue tingle.

Blue swimmer crab with white pepper sauce at Good Luck Pinbone in Kingsford
Blue swimmer crab with white pepper sauce $30

When we attack the blue swimmer crab for the second time, I brace myself for the onslaught of fermented shrimp paste in the white pepper sauce we experienced two days ago. But Mike has already pulled back the pungency, a well-calculated move that means the crab is no longer overshadowed by the intensity of fermented shrimp. The white pepper sauce has a lot more nuances, so much so that I end up scooping this over my second bowl of fried rice.

Fried rice with pork jowl and green garlic at Good Luck Pinbone in Kingsford
Fried rice with pork jowl and green garlic $16

The fried rice uses pork jowl that Pinbone have smoked themselves, wok-fried with a medley of omelette, shallots, fried shallots. Like any good fried rice, it's a dish that could easily stand on its own, interspersed with all kinds of different tastes and textures.

Sirloin, furikake butter and mustard greens at Good Luck Pinbone in Kingsford
Sirloin, furikake butter and mustard greens $28

The sirloin is another feat of mastery, a juicy pink steak cooked on the binchotan. It's blanketed in furikake, the Japanese seasoning made up of seaweed flakes, sesame seeds and salt more usually used on rice. There's a whole lake of melted butter in this dish. We drizzled this on our fried rice. You should too.

Mulberry, strawberry and mango frozen fruit pops at Good Luck Pinbone in Kingsford
Mulberry, strawberry and mango frozen fruit pops $5 each

Without an oven in the kitchen, dessert come straight from the freezer: house-made ice blocks made with real fruit. We end up with a mix of everything. The mulberry will stain your tongue deliciously and mango tastes just like a Weis bar but my pick is the strawberry.

Mike Eggert in the kitchen at Good Luck Pinbone in Kingsford
Mike Eggert in the kitchen

Even as we sat in the full capacity restaurant, the food came flying out at a regular pace, a feat even more impressive when we snuck a peek into the kitchen. It's literally a two wok-burner operation with Mike and Jemma pumping through dockets like well-oiled machines.

Don't wait too long to visit. Good Luck Pinbone are currently on a 9-month lease. The lease will be renewed on a monthly basis after that date. The entire building they are in is set to be demolished soon. What are you waiting for?

Good Luck Pinbone in Kingsford


Good Luck Pinbone Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Good Luck Pinbone
121 Anzac Parade, Kensington, Sydney
No bookings

Opening hours
Thursday to Saturday 6pm-11pm
Sunday 12pm-5pm


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posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 11/14/2016 01:49:00 am



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