Momofuku Ko David Chang's New York Restaurant: Review Restaurants, Wine, Travel, Opinions

Momofuku Ko HeartHeartHeart
Restaurants and bars
New York
Open: Dinner Wed - Sun
Price: Moderate

Reviewed By

Sue Dyson and Roger McShane
Phone Number: +1 212-203-8095
Address: 8 Extra Pl
New York, New York, 10003
Country: United States

Momofuku Ko is a bright, shining star on the New York dining scene. The food here is inventive and interesting but grounded in the finest produce. The new premises will change the overall dining experience from when we ate here (there are now 8 extra seats available) but we are sure that the same inventiveness and the same care with produce will ensure that Ko continues to provide a great experience for diners.
Ko (as it is called by insiders) has no phone bookings and takes no walk ins. Instead, at exactly 10am New York time each day, the seats for the day that's fifteen days ahead are released, and they can only be reserved online. A second or two later it's all over - all the newly available seats (well stools actually) have vanished.
The system has been designed to level the playing field and to ensure those with influence such as film stars, politicians and hotel concierges can't pull rank to get to the front of the queue.
However it does, incidentally, favour New York residents with high speed Internet connections.
However, there is a way. There are often cancellations and because you're charged if you don't turn up, there's plenty of incentive to cancel rather than be a no show. So all you need to do is check the Ko site several times a day to see if anyone has cancelled and then swoop!
It is all worth it. From the moment we took out first sip of the limited production Joel Falmet champagne to the final delicious mouthful of mandarin sorbet the experience was faultless.
We ate something like 14 dishes. A square of snail sausage was matched with intensely flavoured chicken skin and pecorino. A poached smoked egg was teamed with fingerling potato chips, onion soubise and caviar - grown up comfort food. Roasted monkfish came with ethereal sea urchin roe.
We were blown away by the much-hyped grated frozen foie gras, served over Riesling gelée and hazelnut brittle, which as it melts becomes sublimely rich. Matched with Angerhof Tschida Sämling Beerenauslese 2006, it was definitely in memorable dishes territory. Meltingly tender beef cheeks were paired with hen of the woods and cauliflower mushrooms, thin shreds of cippolini onions and a paste made from pickled and charred jalapeno chillis. And finally, mandarin sorbet was lined up with bitter orange segments and juniper berries.
We reluctantly left Momofuku Ko knowing that we had just had a memorable dining experience!
Read the fascinating account of how David Chang arrived at his current destination in the book below:
   - Independent commentary on the Web since 1996

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