By Franz Scheurer
David Chang’s food breaks flavours and aromas down to basics. He does not use twenty-seven garnishes, nor does he try to achieve complexity by combining many ingredients. His food speaks in its utter focused simplicity, letting each component speak and he proofed last night that he’s the master of creating dishes where the result way exceeds the sum of its parts.
Last night’s menu:
momofuku pork buns
sashimi of hiramasa kingfish, sea scallops with buttermilk dressing, soy and poppyseeds
heirloom tomato salad, silken tofu, thai basil and shiso
ko kim chi consommé, pork belly, Sydney rock oysters and chinese cabbage
marinated and chargrilled wagyu skirt steak ssäm
momofuku ‘crack pie’ with cereal milk ice cream
Each and every dish’s aromas promised a lot, but once you put it in your mouth there was an instant explosion of flavours, that was simply unexpected. Textures obviously play a big part in Chang’s food and this was probably most strikingly obvious in his pork buns. They rocked! To single one dish out seems almost like sacrilege, but the depth of the buttermilk dressing (who would have ever thought of this combination?) with its subtle flavours of white soy and yuzu, lifted the superb seafood into the culinary stratosphere. I loved the ko kim chi consommé and the ‘crack pie’ was an absolute cracker. Needless to say that although Chang thinks that ‘living up to people’s expectations sucks’ he did just that: Brilliant, fantastic and superb!
You had the option of going with a drinks flight, carefully matched by Franck Moreau, or order from the wine list. The matches were not only interesting, they also worked perfectly. Best match was probably the bishonen junmai ginjo shu sake with the sashimi.
Now we may have eaten Chang’s food last night but we must not forget the incredible efforts and talents of Dan Hong and the kitchen team at Lotus. They took Chang’s sheet music and then put on a performance that simply was to an incredible standard. Great food can be let down by poor floor staff, yet again, the service was personable, perfectly timed, efficient and friendly. I would like to thank all the staff at Lotus and the Hemmes family for putting this event on. You made my night!