It was always going to take something special to fill the gap left by Momofuku Seiobo in Pyrmont’s Star precinct – the eatery, which closed last year, was superstar restaurateur David Chang’s first outside of New York. The new concept for the space has just been announced – and it doesn’t disappoint.
Chefs and restaurateurs Federico Zanellato (Lumi Bar & Dining, Lode) and Karl Firla (ex-Oscillate Wildly, Est, Marque), who jointly operate CBD Italian eatery Restaurant Leo, will buddy up again for Ele by Federico and Karl, an immersive dining experience inspired by the elements.
Earth, fire, air and water will inform Ele’s menu; projections, sound, curtains and art installations will also be used to submerge diners in the experience. While the menu will shift with the seasons, so too will the interiors, with the sounds and projections changing through the year. The three drinking and dining spaces – a bar, dining room and chefs’ table – will each offer a unique experience curated and choreographed by the chefs.
“This is something we have dreamed of creating for some time, so it is incredible to finally see the wheels in motion,” said Firla in a statement. “Tasked with ushering the site into a new chapter, we came together and asked what new elements could we utilise and how could we deliver something more than just food?”
“Ele introduces a completely new and exciting way for us to showcase our food. Having the projections, sounds and images around the restaurant is just another way for us to connect deeper with diners,” says Zanellato. “With our industry facing immeasurable difficulties at present, we couldn’t be more excited to welcome diners in for a brand-new dining experience.”
The duo has been running Restaurant Leo, and its cafe spinoff Picco Leo, in the CBD for two years. They say that, while they wish to pay tribute to Momofuku Seiobo’s legacy (and don’t want to mess with the “beautiful” kitchen layout), they aim to create a space that feels entirely different to its predecessor.
Momofuku Seiobo opened in 2011, and closed mid-last year after the team chose not to renew its lease.
Ele by Federico and Karl is slated to open at The Star in late February.