Cheers to queue jumping

A surefire way to skip the queues at culinary hotspots, like Sydney's Momofuko, is to wrangle a seat at the bar.

Australia's favourite food blogger Not Quite Nigella, aka Lorraine Elliott, makes a beeline for the bar to sample Momofuku's mouthwatering culinary delights. 

I once witnessed someone demand that they skip the queue at a restaurant event. Full of bluster, this person marched up to the front of the queue, chest puffed up and said “I’m a friend of the owner. I don’t need to queue!” The staff were polite and winced at the audacious display. I guess they winced because they knew what was coming next: a very lonely, sad trip back to the end of the queue with all eyes on the aggrieved party.

The urge to skip a queue is in all of us. If you’ve ever wanted a taste of Momofuku’s food but haven’t made a booking, there is one great way to skip their queue. The small six-seater bar to the left of the restaurant is where you can drink and snack to your heart’s content.  Yes, the famous pork buns are on the menu. I first heard about them during head chef Ben Greeno's cooking class at the Sydney Seafood School. 

It was a Monday night when Florizal and I visited and we arrived at 6pm. Momofuku doesn’t open until 6:30pm, so we joined the rest of the people who didn't know this and waited. (Incidentally, the nearby convenience story is a great time killer and has a fabulous range of American candy.) At 6:30 we go back and take a seat at the bar and watch the chefs (including Ben) at work in the distance. There are hooks for bags underneath the bar and we are handed paper menus with the bar selection, which changes regularly. Diners indicate the quantity of each item that they’d like and hand the slip back.

The images come out first and they’re a colourful array of seasonal vegetables each with their own distinct flavour. There’s cabbage kimchi, carrot, turnip, daikon radish, beetroot and onion. The serve is big enough for three to four people, but we ordered one of everything, so we weren’t going to finish it.

Graph for Cheers to queue jumping

Florizal and I were eager to see what the spanner crab roll would be like given our disappointing experience with a lobster roll at another establishment. This one is an excellent size and the bun is a soft lightly toasted brioche bun, filled with a generously portioned mayonnaise spanner crab mixture. To the side are potato chips dusted with celery salt.

The pork buns, below, are fantastic in their soft, gelatinous goodness and are a must order. What was a complete revelation was the beef short rib bun housed in the same pillowy soft white bun and with two juicy pieces of deep fried beef short inside each one. The crust has a gorgeous caramelisation to it and the inside is fall-apart softness. I wanted to order another immediately.

Graph for Cheers to queue jumping

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