06 Jun Travel the world with Atlas Dining – Prahran
Atlas Dining flies diners around the world. This month, we’re flying to Korea, with pilot-in-charge Charli Carrington. Atlas revolves around a rotational menu, changing every 4 months to reflect a global cuisine. Seasonal menu changes are common practice, but every 4 months is respectfully bonkers. You may recognise Charli from a recent stint on Masterchef – playing the role of ‘professional’ for the elusive immunity pin. Chef Carrington has surpassed amateur cooking competitions, racking up impressive credentials at the age of 22. Grab your passports. We’re heading to the land of bubble pop and gangnam style.
The ‘F’ word makes you cringe or makes you excited. ‘Fusion’ can be hit or miss. Atlas Dining is a rocket in the sky. Kim Chi fries and Bulgogi tacos, is what I often associate with ‘Korean fusion’. What can you expect from a contemporary approach? The first course is Japchae – aka sweet potato noodles. The chargrilled squid, anchovy and fermented egg yolk, moves the normally messy dish – into fine-dining territory.
Miyeok-guk or ‘Birthday soup’ is traditionally eaten for birthdays. Seaweed is the hero of the dish, crispy and fried for texture. Pine needle oil, pine mushrooms and barley, present earthy aromatics for a soulful start.
Birthday Soup – Pine Needle Oil, Pine Mushrooms, Barley, Beef broth
A dollop of Jack Monterey Cheese, parmesan wafer and the pungency of Kim Chi, marries long lost friends. It’s a forbidden marriage of cheesy, funky goodness. Then again, anything with Kim Chi is sufficient to excite. Add cheese and I’m weak at the knees.
Gochujang is a core condiment in Korean cooking. The spicy, fermented condiment, adds sparks of heat, balancing the sweetness of a pork jowl jus. Opening a bok choy leaf reveals a plump oyster. Simplistic and refined – warning, it’s a fatty cut of meat.
Persimmons remind me of my Aunt. Her persimmon tree, dropping plump jewels, hastily eaten by Yuki, the pet beagle. Persimmon isn’t often seen in desserts. The popularity of yuzu and matcha has exploded. But lesser known Asian fruits, offer endless dessert possibilities. Thin ribbons of persimmon, shavings of chestnut and a silky soy ice cream – it’s a mild dessert, that appropriately dims the flavour gauge of previous courses.
At $65 for 5 courses, Atlas Dining is tremendous value for the calibre of food. The rotational menu, keeps diners on their toes. So, where in the world are we off to next?