Geisha girls and Gangnam guys seeking sashimi and Seoul-food can finally connect at the Japanese and Korean influenced Missing Spoon in Gordon. Sydney’s Upper North Shore has been gaining a reputation as a foodie hotspot, and Missing Spoon is the latest star in the line-up.
Café by day, restaurant by night, Missing Spoon was already buzzing early on a Saturday night when we visited. Plenty of greenery, high ceilings and rings of ironwork lanterns make for a distinct but welcoming elegance.
Lightly-seared scallops on a bed of tomato in Korean soybean sauce are a picture on a plate, scattered with tiny flowers. The delicate flavour is elevated by tiny, aromatic leaves of lemon thyme. Cool and fresh, it’s a lovely contrast to the warm and crisp Tempura Nest: an assortment of tempura resting on very finely grated potato tempura. This is tempura at its best: a delicate crunch around tender slices of potato, sweet potato and pumpkin, as well as a juicy king prawn.
We also try the Gujeolpan, a “wrap platter of nine delicacies”. This is super fun for sharing – and super healthy. The delicacies include finely shredded carrot, zucchini, beetroot, egg and beef, and you mix’n’match and wrap them up in tiny spinach pancakes with a drizzle of zingy Korean mustard dressing.
While the menu is diverse in the evening, it’s the Healthy Bowls that take centre stage at lunch, ranging from Volcano Poké (salmon getting a fiery accompaniment of wasabi peas and spicy mayo) to Bulgogi Beef – reportedly Missing Spoon’s top seller. The Healthy Bowls are served in huge and beautiful blue glazed bowls, a nice match for a tall tumbler of mint-leaf infused Blue Lemonade.
Missing Spoon has a wide selection of wines. The sake is a real event: you get to choose your cup from a tray of exquisite tiny cups, all different styles and colours. It’s also the only restaurant in Australia that serves a special plum wine from Fukuoka in Japan: “sour and sweet” and a perfect dessert wine.
Talking of dessert, the Hotteok, a Korean street-style doughnut, is an aboslute hit. It looks like a pancake but has the texture of a churro, and it tastes like Greek baklava – oozing with a warm syrup of brown sugar, crushed nuts and cinnamon. Our only regret is ordering one to split – it’s so delicious you won’t want to share a mouthful!
8 St John Avenue, Gordon
Opening hours: Brunch 6am – 5pm weekdays, 7am – 5pm weekends. Dinner 5.30pm – 9pm Wednesday to Saturday