DD and I finally got a chance to dine there just before Christmas. I was a little worried that my expectations might be too high after reading so many positive reviews but no such thing happened! :)
Be aware of the nondescript black door which opens up to a short flight of stairs. I would have walked past it and not realised Moon Park was just up the flight of stairs! It opens up to a rather open space of tables filled with diners.
Not long after we were seated we were served a side of soy braised beans. At first bite I found it quite salty due to the strong soya taste but something about those beans became addictive and I kept going back for more.
We decided to go for the banquet menu as we had not been there before.
Cucumber kimchi with fresh nashi and perilla - great flavours and I was surprised that the cucumber was still very crunchy.
Deep fried rice cakes with gochujang and peanuts (Ddokbeokki) - interesting chewy rice cakes. I liked it.
Bulgogi beef short rib and anchovy in sweet cabbage (Ssam) - I enjoyed the savoury flavours of the tender ribs. Wrapping the beef in the cabbage reminded me of the Chinese sang choi bow.
Sea urchin and black garlic on seed biscuit - I was initially hesitant to try this as I didn't think I would like the taste of sea urchin. But it was surprisingly tender and delicately offset by the crunchy seed biscuit which had a strong sesame flavour. Such a clever dish and one I thoroughly enjoyed.
Beef tartare with pinenut sauce, daikon, and seaweed - this was a very interesting dish. There was contrasting textures of the thinly sliced yet slightly crunchy daikon, the bites of pinenuts and larger than normal slices of beef (from a classic tartare perspective).
Moreton bay bug with potatoes cooked in spicy tallow and dried persimmon - I found the Moreton bay bug to be slightly less firm and more gelatinous than I expected. I would have preferred it a little more cooked.
Bibimbap rice, spanner crab, walnut, sweet corn and cured egg yolk. One of my favourite dishes of the night. Such contrasting textures of the walnut and sweet corn to the very yummy rice. It was packed with flavours. More please! Unfortunately my amateurish picture does not do justice to this dish. It was a lot more delicious than it looked. :)
Wessex pork belly (Samgyeopsal), cabbage, ssamjang, and diamond clams. Tenderly delicious pork belly combined with crunchy cabbage. Yum!
Charred eggplant, egg custard, pickled garlic scape and shiitake jorim. I enjoyed the soft silky textures but DD found the whole dish to be too soft in textures and would have liked something crunchy thrown in to offset the silkiness. I obviously didn't agree with him! :)
And our dessert was the "moon pie" - prune, maesil marshmallow, white chocolate pudding and ginger jelly. I enjoyed the subtle flavours of the ginger jelly and the smooth and creamy pudding with the marshmallow. Yum!
In a nutshell, Moon Park surprised me and made me see there was a lot more to Korean cuisine than the traditional dishes I was familiar with. I liked the modern touch to the said traditional dishes and could see how and why there have been positive comments. The wait team were very friendly and it was obviously a very popular restaurant. It would certainly be on my recommended list!
Moon Park Restaurant
34 Redfern Street