A modern Korean restaurant, Moon Park is situated on the first floor of a building in Redfern. This place is quite hard to find at night as there is only a small sign outside the building. Inside, the interior is very sleek and simple, not overly fancy, with wooden floorboards, white painted walls, standard wooden tables and chairs, basic shelves, and minimal decorations. There is a small bar area, and also a large balcony overlooking Redfern Park. The place creates a casual atmosphere and relaxing vibe.
We arrived here on a weeknight, and the wait staff was very hospitable, with good friendly service. They were attentive to us, with the use of good facial expressions and body gesture, and the use of appropriate language. They displayed great knowledge in relation to the items on the menu.
Cucumber and Rose Lemonade ($8)
A delightful drink, which was not overly sweet, with the aroma of rose and a hint of cucumber. The drink had a mysterious element to it, as with each sip, we would not know which flavour would hit our palate first – the rose or the cucumber. However, these two elements were very complimentary to each other, making the drink very enjoyable.
Othmanthus tea ($4)
A classic oriental drink, with a bitter-sweet flavour, which was a perfect compliment to the dishes we had.
Homemade crisps (complimentary)
These crisps were thin, crispy and had a hint of spicy flavour. They were a great start to our meal.
Ssambab: yangnum smoked eel, puffed wild rice in a big nasturtium ($7.50 each)
This dish was fantastic. There was a contrast of flavours in this dish – the smokiness and saltiness of the eel contrasted well with the freshness and softness of the leaf, while the rice had a crunchy, smoky and a little spicy flavour. This was a very elegant and modern take of a traditional Korean dish.
Spanner crab and black garlic on seed biscuit ($7.50 each)
A very good dish. The fresh flavour of the crab was accentuated by the presence of the sesame and the garlic. All the flavours complemented each other well.
Bibimbap: a bowl of rice with raw scallop, barley, peas and baek kimchi ($33)
Who would have imagined a humble bibimbap could be served in this way? This was akin to eating a whole bowl of the ocean, with the freshness of the scallop shining through. However, the dish also had other intricate flavours, such as the spiciness from the kimchi, the smokiness from the toasted barley and the sweetness from the peas. The contrast of textures, from the crunchiness of the toasted barley to the softness of the scallops, also really delighted our tastebuds. A wonderful dish that simply blew us away!
Ssamgyeopsal: wessex pork belly, artichoke and carrot kimchi ($34)
The star of the dish was the pork belly which was soft, and melted in our mouths. It was well seasoned, so did not really need any sauce. There was a hint of doenjang flavouring in the pork, and a side of leaves for us to wrap the pork in. These elements demonstrated the traditional aspects of this dish. However, the reduction in the use of garlic and chilli for this dish and the use of artichoke in this dish, made this dish more subtle and refined than its traditional Korean counterpart. A very flavoursome dish.
Brussels sprout, kimchi seasoning, pinenut ($8)
We recommend this dish be ordered with the Ssamgyeopsal as this complimented well with the pork belly. Eating the Ssamgyeopsal with this dish would give extra flavour to the pork belly. The dish was very tasty, and the use of the pinenuts was a unique addition, which enhanced the flavours of this dish.
Moon Pie: prune, maesil marshmallow, ginger jelly, graham cracker and chocolate ($14)
This was an elegantly deconstructed version of an American Moon Pie with a Korean twist – the sweetness from the soft, silky and milky white chocolate and the partially torched marshmallow meringue was balanced with the kick from the ginger and the sourness from the prunes. A sublime dessert!
Warm quince, makggeolli ice cream, puffed rice and orange ($14)
This dessert can simply be called “Rice Cream”. The lightness of this ice cream provided a good base for the flavours of the quince and orange to shine through, making this a nice dessert.
Moon Park is one of the best modern Korean restaurant we have tried in Sydney, and we would no doubt be back in a heartbeat! The modern twist on traditional Korean food is done extremely well and our dining experience here has been wonderful.
Address: 34 Redfern Street, Redfern
Phone: (02) 9690 0111
Opening hours: Tuesdays to Saturdays, 5:30pm to late
Accepts MasterCard, Visa and American Express (surcharge applicable for all cards)