I didn’t know at all what “seiṓbo” meant before venturing to David Chang’s Sydney stream (the first outside of The States) of Momofuku restaurants. I still wasn’t bothered to find out what this meant post my dining experience. So roughly 1 minute and 12 seconds ago I Googled the term and it kind of unwinded into this story about a Heavenly Queen, Immortality, peaches (standard) and palaces on the lake… pretty much like any good childhood first generation Asian story that your or your Asian friend’s grandmother told you in between watching 3 Ninjas.
*R.I.P. to the legend Victor “Wonky Eye” Wong.
I want to firmly clarify that this isn’t a review. I can’t review this because there exists a bias which has existed since seeing David Chang’s Munchies feature, and hence since then Momofuku becoming a brand that I could immediately feel comfortable with way before eating the food. So what am I writing this for? Call it a preview and a bit of preparation in the way of ground rule-laying before you advance on this gastronomic mission.
Foreword: should you be searching for super arty, other worldy feeds that you spend more time instagramming than eating then forget Seiṓbo. First… third (?) rule of Seiṓbo: no camera’s, no food pictures period.
Furthermore you can only book your seat 10 days prior, or within the 10 day period leading up to the date you desire. The latter is highly unlikely though as such a democratic booking system means site crashes at 10:01 am of the morning of each schedule opening. Oh well, enable cookies, hit refresh and try again.
There are 3 time slots for lunch and dinner service. Once your time is chosen you will only be able to change or cancel your reservation no later than 24 hours before the session. Should you cancel within the 24 hour window you will have to pay the full price anyway ($100 for lunch – $175 for dinner). How do you like them apples trust fund!?
On the day you have a 15 minute window to catch your booking. If you miss this window they will give your seats up. Like that. I don’t know how the money thing works but considering David Chang is the Ricky Rozay of restauranteering then I’ll assume you’ll get the pirate treatment.
AND despite what the Kashmir temptress at the casino counter tells you, the restaurant will validate your parking ticket. No, you will not have to gamble your life savings on Pai Gow to get free parking.
To be honest all these rules though make the experience more rewarding. It’s not that Chang is being snarky and only allowing seats for a select few. He’s essentially setting some house rules with what I perceive to be an intention to centre focus on the food and away from this whole idea of ratings, prestige and pronouncing the word “degustation” like Madeleine. For lack of the aformentioned criteria, yes, David Chang as well as his staff are a bunch of food hipsters. But it’s awesome. And think of the rule thing like Jason Statham in the Transporter. You wouldn’t ever fxck with him or the rules.
My Suggestion: Go! Sitting at the bar is a must for the show that is the kitchen.
Appendix A – we broke the camera rule.
The Star/80 Pyrmont St (Opposite the Coles entry of the casino)
Pyrmont NSW 2009
(02) 9777 9000