The Unbearable Lightness of Being Hungry | A Sydney Food Blog

New podcast – Ben Sears, Moon Park

October 31st, 2015  |  Published in Latest, Podcasts  |  2 Comments


When Ben Sears was working at Cutler & Co, the “biggest highlight” was when director Quentin Tarantino came in for dinner. Throughout his career, Ben has picked up quite a collection of memorable experiences – from the time he worked at Michelin-starred L’enclume, with its remote location (and tourist-magnet appeal as home of the sticky toffee pudding) to his burnout from having to make The Age’s Dish of the Year way too many times, and his final spell as head chef at Claude’s, when it closed after 37 years.

“That was one of the weirdest services I’ve ever done – by far,” he says.

In this podcast, he also talks about the low-budget and punk way that he opened up Moon Park with his partner and co-head-chef Eun Hee An and Ned Brooks, their business partner and floor manager. It definitely involved a visit to K-Mart.


Ben jokes that their first patrons were really just “Ned’s friends” and downplays Moon Park’s food as “Korean nonna food, gussied up for the masses” – but their venture ended up being shortlisted for Best New Restaurant by Good Food Guide and Time Out Sydney and the chefs were also nominated for Best New Talent in the Gourmet Traveller Awards.

We also chat about Korean food and culture (including the amazing traditions of Pepero Day and Black Day – and how Korean food is about a zillion years ahead of the game) and we also bring up Kim Jong-Un’s haircut once or twice.

And finally, Ben shares his favourite places to eat and drink in town – including the place he name-checks as “the best restaurant in Sydney”.

You can listen to this episode on iTunes or download it via RSS or directly.

And thank you to all the people who’ve said nice things about the podcast and spread the word in the iTunes store and elsewhere. It makes the sleep-delaying edit sessions worth it (this episode was finished and uploaded at 4am)!

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  1. Gaby says:

    Hey Lee, I just recently started listening to your podcast (late, I know). Just listened to this particular episode in which you said that Peruvian will never be a thing… could you please elaborate? Cheers and keep up the great work!

    • Lee Tran Lam says:

      Hi Gaby, thanks so much for listening! Never too late to join in, so really happy that you discovered the podcast!

      As for the Peruvian comment – I noticed over the years, whenever there was a story about upcoming food trends, writers would often suggest that Peruvian would be the next hot cuisine. This happened for years on end and probably has died down recently as people realised that just saying something will be hot is not really enough to make it actually a trend in itself.

      As Ben Sears says in the interview, it makes sense that there was a wave of new Korean restaurants and that that was a trend because there already was a big inbuilt population eating Korean food. He thinks there isn’t as sizeable a demographic already eating Peruvian food here to make it a big groundbreaking trend. There has to be a population already interested in Peruvian food to spark that change and inspire a group of chefs to take what’s happening to the next level.

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Hi, I'm Lee Tran Lam. When not blogging with my mouth full, I'm usually writing, presenting Local Fidelity on FBi radio, making zines, producing podcasts or continually breaking promises about how I really am gonna get through my book pile one day.

All the good pictures on this blog are by photography ace (and patient boyfriend), Will Reichelt, (all the dodgy ones can be credited to me)!

The lovely banner is by friend and ultra-talented illustrator Grace Lee.

This site redesign was made possible by the next-level generosity and expertise of Daniel Boud, whose code-tinkering ways are only outranked by his seriously inspired way with a camera.

You can read more about my co-conspirators here.

This is a blog I do for pure fun and zero influence – there's no sponsorship, sneaky advertorial or advertising. I pay for all the food mentioned, 'cos it seems the ethical thing to do.


This is a blog about eating and drinking in Sydney, Australia (with the odd cross-border or off-topic detour). BYO appetite.

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