Wednesday, June 4

Dinner at Momofuku Ko

After a couple of months of patiently clicking away at 10 am every morning, I finally managed to score reservations at Momofuku Ko, the newish restaurant from pork belly savant David Chang which has a mere 12 seats and only lets you book a table online. Predictably, even before the place got rave reviews, getting a table was harder than scoring tickets to a [insert your favorite musician here] show.

But once Scott and I got through the unmarked front door (see left), everything was surprisingly chill and casual. The meal started off light, with a succession of small dishes that both had us secretly fearing that we might walk away hungry, delicious as everything was. But two and a half hours and more than a few deep fried short ribs later, that worry was long gone.

Here's a stab at the menu, constructed via memory and (mostly) surfing the Internet for write-ups by other food bloggers. Almost every course, we were each served different dishes, though we usually switched plates halfway.
  • pork rinds / english muffin with whipped pork fat
  • fluke sashimi with buttermilk sauce, yuzu and poppy seeds / kampachi with muscat grapes
  • oyster, pork belly and bok choi in kimchi consumme / pea soup with crawfish and morels in yuba
  • chawanmushi -- egg custard with asparagus, caviar and braised cashews / sous-vide egg with caviar and fingerling potato chips
  • lasagna with escargot, morels, ricotta salata and ramps, and a ricotta foam sauce(x2)
  • brined trout with pickled radish, bacon puree and radishes / halibut in pepperoncini purée topped with diced radishes, bok choy and burnt onion
  • shaved foie gras with lychees, pine nut brittle and grape wine gelee (x2)
  • deep fried short ribs, daikon with mustard seeds and pickled carrots / poulard with morels
  • kiwi, lychee sorbet
  • poached rhubarb over pea "sand" with yellow cake ice cream / cereal milk panna cotta with chocolate slab, cornflakes and avocado
Almost everything we ate was incredibly good, but there were a few standouts, mostly for the better but a few for the worse. Favorites were definitely the fluke, lasagna and trout -- the last of which came with A PUREE MADE OF FREAKING BACON. Not so good were the egg custard and sous-vide egg, which suffered from being at room temperature and of a not appetizing texture.

And although most reviews I've read lauded the foie gras -- which is frozen in liquid nitrogen and then shaved -- I found it entirely too rich and even a bit icky. I couldn't stop thinking: "I'm eating a snow cone made of liver." It was the only dish I didn't finish.

It was an incredibly good experience overall. It definitely wasn't cheap, especially after I opted for the $50 beer-and-wine pairing option, but as a once a year kind of meal it's hard to imagine anything better. And before I left, I got one of the cooks to tell me how to make that bacon puree!

[One side note: Scott came prepared to take lots of pictures of the beautiful food, but they've recently had to ban photographs during dinner, which were apparently slowing down service and -- I suspect -- annoying the crap out of the chefs. Lots of good pictures to be found here.]

1 comment:

Kitty said...

you have to post about making that bacon puree!!!