It’s the spectacularly lit venue that you first notice from the outside, the tunnel of Seoul-love you walk through to wash you of your day as you time-travel through to Seoul. Then the 90s RnB and Hip Hop playing in the background hits you square in the ear and squeals “it’s time to have some fun”.
We danced to our seats and were met by one of the most upbeat teams in working history, smiling, laughing with each other, and genuinely appearing to love what they do. I can’t even imagine the after-hours parties these folks have.
Funda is the new venue from the creators of the The Firestone, who have partnered with world class chefs, Executive Chef, Jung-su Chang, and Head Chef, Chris Kim, and between them have worked at six hatted restaurants (Tetsuya’s, Mjolner, Sepia, Urbane, Moon Under Water and Supernormal) and three Michelin star restaurants (Jungsik Seoul, L’amant Secret and Pierre Gagnaire à Séoul) with Chef Jung-su holding two Michelin stars for four consecutive years. Both chefs have a deep-rooted connection to their heritage and will be combining traditional Korean ingredients and techniques with modern European influences. With that in mind, it’s easy to understand how we get to such a high standard of art in the menu.
We start with cocktails, of course. Classic cocktails with a Korean twist. The Salt and Spice, Don Julio Blanco, Desert Lime, Sunrise, Lime Kosho, Smoked Agave with a salted foam ($25). A riff on the margarita. It’s sublime. The Funda Martini – a combination of pickled Komu, Tanqueray, No Ten, White Miso, Amontillado, Sherry, Tasmanian Mountain Pepper Lead and Kimchi oils ($26). A salty, sweet combination, dry like a classic martini.
The drinks menu has beers from Australia and Korea and an awesome selection of global wines, including the 2020 Fuchs Mader Kientzer Reisling from Alsace, France ($20)
Now the food. Hold onto your hats and your tastebuds, as they dance with pure excitement. The Fried Seaweed Roll (GF) ($12 each) are delicately fried and filled a prawn and scallop mousse, perilla leaf, seaweed, yuzo kosho. A perfect start to the perfect meal. I think this is what I’d like to eat in my final meal. I have a lot on that list – so my final meal will last a few days, but this is on there for sure. I love a crunch followed by a soft mousse; there’s something dessert-ey about it, but this savoury seafood bliss is perfection.
The grilled leek, chosen by my dining companion, and I must admit, I was a bit dubious. I hold nothing against leek, but you know, it’s leek. How wrong could I be? Thinly sliced leek, with Vannella stracciatella cheese, pistachio, chilli relish and Korean master soy sauce ($26). The leek needs to be cut with a steak knife, it’s tender and it needs to be sliced carefully, so you can share effectively. The most astonishing take on leek we’ve ever tasted.
The next dish claiming space in our dreams is the Calamari ($34) is soy pickled seaweed, seaweed crumble, celery, and mustard cress. A delicate, melt in your mouth calamari is surrounded by pickled seaweed and a soft crumble for some salty goodness, that makes your taste buds dance to the beat.
Next, Korean Tofu Jjigae ($28) arrives in a clay bowl, glossy chicken broth still bubbling around the beef, mushroom and tofu. A hearty, richly decadent sauce is perfect with rice and the other ingredients simply melt in your mouth. Perfect for a lunch or dinner for one.
Our final dish in this delectable, finely tuned feast is the Korean Pancake with today’s fish ($41). A lightly battered 100% fish, pancake, perfectly rolled and fried, so gently that the fish didn’t crumble until it met our mouths.
Filling, fun and fantastic. I loved the atmosphere, the service from the team, the open kitchen, the layout, music and lighting. The only awful thing about Funda, is leaving.
Tenancy 2 & 3/50 Pitt St, Sydney NSW 2000
Monday – Wednesday 12 – 3pm, 5.30 – 10pm
Thursday – Saturday 12 – 3pm, 5.30 -11pm