Shake 511: The Korean Curriculum

August 29, 2011

Andie, Le Mont Saint Michel (France), year?

So how was my lesson in modern Korean cuisine? Thoroughly enjoyable, interesting and inspiring. If you’re in the know with Korean food in Sydney, you’re probably very aware that every Korean restaurant pretty much does the same thing – barbecued meats, hot pots and stews, with a pancake or dumpling to start. You go with a craving for chilli and garlic and come away with a full stomach and the smell of barbecue in your hair. The cuisine is certainly tasty, but it hasn’t ever really been considered fine dining. So this is where our education began. Six talented Korean chefs each contributed a dish to the curriculum and these were matched by some spectacular Italian wine chosen by the very knowledgeable head teacher Peter Jo (Berta, Surry Hills).

The journey started off with some roasted whole chestnuts (so Korean!) and a short cocktail of Korean raspberry wine. And then each subsequent dish outshone the last. They were intricately crafted and really paid homage to true Korean flavours. The Hubs was overwhelmed with the sashimi of tuna, oyster emulsion over nashi pear (his favourite bit), seaweed encrusted soft-boiled quail egg with chilli dressing (by Melissa Chung of Bar H). I couldn’t get over the Angus beef cooked ‘kalbi-style’ with chilli, anchovies and five grain rice (by Ryan Hong of Rockpool Bar and Grill). But when they brought out Jinsun Kim’s dessert (Kakawa Chocolates), the memories of the other dishes were long gone. Her deconstructed Korean rice cakes were just so creative, marrying flavours of chestnut, date and mixed grains. Then just to add a little fun, a yakult popsicle on the side! The Hubs is not a huge fan of dessert, let alone Korean rice cakes, but even his vote went to the dessert.

Mid-course, the team were released from the kitchen for a short time to meet their guests and it was great to have a chat with Peter Jo about his passion for Korean flavours and the success of this new project. Their next pop-up dinners are in October coinciding with the Sydney International Food Festival, so if you’d like some tasty education, keep an eye on their site for more information.

Sorry, I’ve run out of Korean domes!

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4 Responses to “Shake 511: The Korean Curriculum”

  1. Cookie Says:

    I’m saving my pennies already!!


  2. This snow dome is lovely but I was totally distracted by your writing. Once you finish documenting your snow domes, you should do a food blog! Then I can accompany you to the next Korean pop-up dinner as your, um, artistic assistant 😉

  3. prettyprettyyumyum Says:

    YUM and I looooove Kakawa chocolates.
    That intricate dome is pretty special too.


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