Moon Park is back by popular demand. The team behind the popular Redfern eatery has a new all-day diner that will both intrigue and delight. Nestled just below street level, where Bourke Street Bakery once stood, Paper Bird has wall-to-wall aqua and lashes of copper giving it a sophisticated yet retro feel.
While you can take the classic breakfast route and opt for avocado with sesame and coriander on rye ($14), if you came to be surprised, look to one of the dishes where Paper Bird's East Asian influences shine. The King's congee, a rice and milk porridge with crab, corn and donut chips ($22), certainly isn't your average start to the day, and if you're feeling adventurous, it's one you shouldn't miss. If you'd like to raise the stakes with your drink, too, swap out your Single O coffee for a Bloody Mary with vodka, citrus, gochugaru, black vinegar and a sesame and togarashi rim ($16).
The fun continues on the all day menu (served from 12pm to 11pm). If you were a fan of Moon Park, you'll be pleased to know that their Korean fried chicken — which achieves the perfect balance of spice and crunch — still holds prime position on the menu. It's even better paired with the rich flavours of the eggplant with black pepper and cashew ($14) and a glass of the crisp and slightly-acidic Adalia Soave Garganega/Trebbiano ($11.50). The wine list covers a lot of ground both locally and internationally, with a solid selection of wines by the glass and a few funky naturals, too.
If you can drag yourself away from the chicken for just a moment, try the taco-yaki. It's Paper Bird's take on a taco with octopus, Bull-Dog sauce — Japanese barbecue sauce — and kewpie mayo atop a rice flour tortilla ($8 each). Gone in a couple of bites, you'll be left wanting more. Resist the urge and save room for the crab boudin blanc in XO sauce with pickled fennel ($25), instead. The combination of seafood and XO sauce may be familiar, but its presentation as a sausage is not.
And the kicker? The restaurant's versatility. You can satisfy your intrigue with a snack of Chongqing popcorn and an OB Korean beer at the bar, pop in for congee at breakfast or prawn toast at lunch, or sit at a table at the back with a bottle of wine and sample the whole menu.