Two Claude's chefs, Ben Sears and his Korean wife Eun Hee An, are "learning what it is to manage a restaurant in Sydney," according to former Claude's manager Abby Meinke.
Under her stewardship the floor is seamless.
Abby's formidable wine knowledge now extends to soju, and her recommended Moonbae-sool Soju ($10) speaks of pear, and it's a pleasant way to kick-start your evening while rice crackers, kombu and thyme dissolve on your tongue. The wine list holds much excitement; I passed over interesting wines from France, Italy and America to stay local with the 2013 Ochota Barrels ‘The Flint Vineyard’ Chardonnay ($85).
It suited anju (bar snacks) like Moonlight Flat Claire de Lune Oysters ($4.50/each) topped chilli threads and plum vinegar, and briny Sea Urchin Roe ($6/each) presented on seed biscuits with black garlic.
Familiar cabbage-wrapped beef bulgogi - Ssam ($7/each) - were a meal highlight, as was...
...an unusual smoky Eggplant with Egg Custard ($16) dish topped with nicely textural lotus root.
While Green Beans with Ssamjang ($6) were ordinary, and Samgyeopsal ($29) pork belly with diamond clams and crown daisy had too much unrendered fat for my taste, overall this is an exciting and innovative addition to Sydney’s Korean dining landscape.
Blow-torched marshmallow on the Moon Pie ($14) will ensure you emerge onto Redfern’s streets smiling.
PS. They also make vegetarian kimchi!
Level 1, 34 Redfern Street, Redfern
Ph: (02) 9690 0111