AT 30 YEARS YOUNG, THIS AUSTRALIAN EXPAT OFFERS A NOVEL TAKE ON SOUTH EAST ASIAN AT SUGAR MOMMA, AS WELL AS HIS FAVORITE ROAST PORK RECIPE

BY BARRY DRY

Though I now live in Brooklyn, I was born in Perth, Australia and wasn’t born a restaurant owner. Actually, at Notre Dame University in Fremantle, Western Australia I studied business management and economics. During my academic tenure, like so many college kids, I worked in the service industry and wound up running a restaurant working my way up from dishwasher to general manager. After graduating, I moved to New York in November of 2011 to pursue a career in finance, but in time discovered that hospitality was my true calling. I opened Hole in the Wall Coffee in Midtown Manhattan in 2014 and after that, the Financial District’s dining and cocktail destination, Sugar Momma. The latter is actually housed inside another Hole in the Wall, in the Financial District, but transforms at night. A red neon sign that reads “Hello Gorgeous” invites folks in to come in and stay awhile, and our menu highlights South Asian cooking served with a casual, chill vibe. Dishes change frequently, but at the moment offers choices like shrimp and crab sliders and farm raised pork.

One of my favorites at Sugar Momma is the roast pork belly, which pays homage to the South East Asian roots we have in Australia (immigrants from Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, and other nations have formed a major demo-graphic in Australia for more than a century). I love to pair this dish with a dry Reisling (my favorite is Hosmer, from the Finger Lakes) because the dryness doesn’t take away from the perfectly balanced slices. The chilled wine also has the effect of resetting your palate between mouth-fuls, allowing you to have your first bite 10 times over.

CRISPY PORK BELLY WITH STICKY SOY GLAZE

ROAST PORK BELLY
1 Skinless pork belly
Salt and pepper
1 tbsp. five-spice powde
Method: Cut pork belly in half and place into lined baking tray. Gently score fat evenly. Rub salt, pepper, and five-spice powder into fat. Bake in pre-heated oven for 3.5 to 4 hours at 280°F. You want to make sure that the pork is tender, and the easiest way of doing this is to gently lift the belly and pull at the thickest part. If it pulls easily, it is cooked; if not, cook further until it does. When pork is done, remove from oven and put in fridge to chill. Once chilled, cover and place in fridge.

SOUR APPLE DRESSING
14 oz. fish sauce
5.5 oz. white sugar
10 oz. fresh lime juice
3 teaspoons ginger
3.5 oz. chopped chili
½ cup diced pickles
White vinegar to taste
Method: Pound ginger, chilli, and pickles with a mortar and pestle. In a separate bowl, mix fish sauce, white sugar, lime juice, and vinegar. Mix all ingredients together and balance (if it’s too salty, add more sugar and lime juice).

STICKY SOY GLAZE
3 tbsps. Kecap Manis (sweet soy)
3 tbsps. lime juice
3 tbsps. oyster sauce
2 tbsps. fish sauce
2 tbsps. tamarind paste
2 tbsps. black vinegar
Method: Mix ingredients in a bowl. Add small amount of boiling water if you prefer a thinner consistency. To finish, slice pork belly into squares suitable for serving and pour glaze over the top.

Caddy Spread

Crispy Pork Belly with Sticky Soy Glaze

Sugar Momma
15 Cliff Street, Manhattan / 212.602.9991
sugarmommanyc.com