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BryanZ

Momofuku Ko (Part 1)

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One big problem with the F&F was pacing.  The courses came too fast.  I didn't comment on that, and hoped they'd take care of it upon opening.  Seems like they haven't yet.

Pacing was right on the mark last night ... chefs were very tuned in to where we were on each course ... no long waits, but nothing arrived before we wanted it to. True, there was still wine in our glass from time to time when the next wine but that was more about us than them.

Incidentally they appeared to be comping everyone a small glass of a very nice rose lambrusco as an aperatif ... that was a nice touch ...

As high as my expectations were, they were really exceeded last night. And watching the chefs in action made me a slightly better cook I think. But ask me again next time I cook scallops.

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FYI there's a 9 page (!) story on David Chang in this week's New Yorker magazine. March 24 issue. It gives a little background on Serpico and some of the other Ko chefs, as well.

It's not online (yet?) as the New Yorker's web site dribbles out stories from that week's issue slowly over the course of the week. And some stories never get put online.


Edited by kathryn (log)

"I'll put anything in my mouth twice." -- Ulterior Epicure

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FYI there's a 9 page (!) story on David Chang in this week's New Yorker magazine. March 24 issue. It gives a little background on Serpico and some of the other Ko chefs, as well.

It's not online (yet?) as the New Yorker's web site dribbles out stories from that week's issue slowly over the course of the week. And some stories never get put online.

This was an amazing article.

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One big problem with the F&F was pacing.  The courses came too fast.  I didn't comment on that, and hoped they'd take care of it upon opening.  Seems like they haven't yet.

agreed.

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I was able to eat the food fast enough, but I did have trouble drinking my wine fast enough.

That's a problem with tasting menu wine pairings all over town. People will eat great food fairly quickly, but they want time to savor the wine.

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Tasting menus with course-by-course wine pairings are great for a lot of reasons. They do, however, require a lot of service in order to be effective and pleasurable. Trouble is, what was once something that only Lespinasse-level restaurants attempted has now become commonplace -- and most restaurants can't pull it off reliably. This would be a good topic.


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Tasting menus with course-by-course wine pairings are great for a lot of reasons. They do, however, require a lot of service in order to be effective and pleasurable. Trouble is, what was once something that only Lespinasse-level restaurants attempted has now become commonplace -- and most restaurants can't pull it off reliably. This would be a good topic.

Agreed. Rarely do pairings with tasting menus any more ... when the food course is only a few bites and so many courses it's a struggle for my palate to keep up with everything that's happening.

I thought el bulli's approach worked well - when we were there they recommended a bottle of white that they though would be what would work best with most of the courses, and then every now and again when a course wasn't going to work with the wine, the somellier would pop over with a taste of a rioja or a sherry or whatever. I'll probably do something like that if/when I return to Ko although we're glad we did the wine pairing this time. With corkage at only $15 it would have worked to have brought a nice riesling that would have complemented most courses and then done by-the-glass for the others.

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I had dinner tonight again at Ko, this time with Weinoo who managed to take up my extra seat at a moments notice thankfully.

Nothing has changed much with the menu from when I was there at F&F with the exception of the additional english muffin with whipped lard. Man, that was tasty.

Of the remaining dishes they remained pretty much exactly the same as F&F with a few minor tweaks. The fluke dish with whipped buttermilk was slighly more spicy than the first time. The rice cake served with the miso course was no longer dredged in seaweed. In this case the seaweed was sprinkled over the pickled vegetables.

Those were the big changes. The wine was pretty much unchanged, aside from the carbonated banyuls with the desert course which was pretty amazing.

Oh, I also got to try a new desert. A panna cotta desert, served with chocolate and hazelnut with an avocado mouse. The fat and luscious in the avocado worked great in pairing with the milk in the panna cotta and the bitter chocolate and hazelnuts that garnished it. Pretty great. Just sad I didn't have my camera.

The guys on the line looked a lot more relaxed and in the groove as well and them along with the 2 floor staff had everything moving smoothly. The wines for the pairing were always served 2-3 minutes before the next course with a great description of what we were drinking.

Overall, another great meal.


John Deragon

foodblog 1 / 2

--

I feel sorry for people that don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day -- Dean Martin

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No.


I want pancakes! God, do you people understand every language except English? Yo quiero pancakes! Donnez moi pancakes! Click click bloody click pancakes!

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The hostess said they weren't going to check IDs until someone spoils it for everyone. Hopefully she didn't mean, by talking about the fact they're not checking IDs.

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Johnder you have offically become Momofuku Ko's first regular.. :biggrin:

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ok, people, how do you manage to get those reservations? i've been at it since the aborted online-too-soon false start every single day and i guess my internet connection is just not fast enough (verizon dsl) - i've seen a green check or two a couple of times but when i click it turns to red... :sad: it's going to be months, isn't it? i hope they keep the foie and egg dishes on for a while, at least till i get there (which, optimistcally, could be in July)

anyone who needs extra stomachs to fill in, let me know!


Alcohol is a misunderstood vitamin.

P.G. Wodehouse

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i did it last sunday; had tried on friday and saturday (and before) withou success; i just got lucky. opened the site in a couple windows, have cable modem, refreshed, logged in, got a 2.

but when i got in, i clicked on my first choice (green) and then it brought me back with an X through it. i then did it with another one, and this time got through.

i think all reservations were red Xed within 1 or 2 minutes.

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consider yourself lucky - i've been at it since they released the first week almost every day, couple of windows, two computers (oh, yeah, husband has been drafted too) and still only getting to green to red.

except for the first day, when it took more than a minute, the tables are gone in less than 1 minute from what i've seen. i think maybe out connection is a little slower than others, which does not bide well


Alcohol is a misunderstood vitamin.

P.G. Wodehouse

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I had dinner tonight again at Ko, this time with Weinoo who managed to take up my extra seat at a moments notice thankfully....

Oh, I also got to try a new desert.  A panna cotta desert, served with chocolate and hazelnut with an avocado mouse.  The fat and luscious  in the avocado worked great in pairing with the milk in the panna cotta and the bitter chocolate and hazelnuts that garnished it.  Pretty great.  Just sad I didn't have my camera...

Overall, another great meal.

I also had dinner here on Monday (I guess I should have introduced myself on either side you were probably on one side of me and Dave H). The new dessert was really tasty and interesting. I'm not positive I understood the avocado- the creamy fat was nice but the flavor was different than the other elements. I snapped a picture of it but I don't have a way to upload it right now. I'll try to post it before I leave for Argentina on Friday.

We also had a great meal. I thought the room was a touch cold and that the pacing is still a bit fast for my taste. I still find myself wishing the chefs were a bit chattier...

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I think it's an unfair burden on the chefs that they need be chattier, but if they were, that's probably what it would take to slow down the courses to a reasonable pace.

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Well the New Yorker feature mentioned that during a very early friends and family six courses took 45 minutes. That seems....heartburn inducing regardless of the size of the dishes.

Then again that was their first day of F&F.

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I also had dinner here on Monday (I guess I should have introduced myself on either side you were probably on one side of me and Dave H).  The new dessert was really tasty and interesting.  I'm not positive I understood the avocado- the creamy fat was nice but the flavor was different than the other elements.

We also had a great meal.  I thought the room was a touch cold and that the pacing is still a bit fast for my taste.  I still find myself wishing the chefs were a bit chattier...

Sorry we didn't get to meet - we were there for an early (7 PM) seating. I thoroughly enjoyed this meal - standouts to me were the fluke with buttermilk and poppy seeds, the scallop dish, pork belly/oyster and kimchee consomme, and the short rib. Just fabulous.

I felt our pacing was right on, and we had the wine pairing with it...though I thought it kind of strange that there were two courses that didn't have wine paired with them. If and when I get to try Ko again, I would probably forgo the wine pairing, in order to be able to focus more fully on the food - and I think beer would go really well with some of the dishes and just make the dining experience that much more intense.


Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

mweinstein@eGstaff.org

Tasty Travails - My Blog

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I think it's an unfair burden on the chefs that they need be chattier, but if they were, that's probably what it would take to slow down the courses to a reasonable pace.

I guess I'm trying to figure out in my head whether I like this format at this price. What makes it a more worthwhile experience for me than picking and choosing my dishes from the menu at Ssam Bar? Obviously a tasting menu is nice sometimes, but I generally don't have a big enough appetite for it. If there were more interaction with the chefs, rather than a straightforward description of the dish in front of you, it would all make more sense to me and be deserving of a premium. I might be unique in wanting that, though.

I don't mean to indicate that I think the price is high- I think it is quite reasonable.

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I thought from the way time slots were regimented at Ko that it would be similar to Minibar, that I'd be staring at a clock tick down as the courses were presented. Instead the steady presentation of food and the wonder of it all sort of captured the imagination even without the chefs being engaging. And it never felt rushed even though everyone got every course at the same time, and the dishes were small enough I never felt forced to eat one more thing. Ko was a steady stream of dishes that I can't imagine being smaller for the price, but was too much served too soon in a space that was too sedate to entice me to repeat visits. The environment seemed designed to allow you to meditate on your dishes but they didn't leave you enough time to do it. Of course Ko's not depending on repeat customers based on their reservation system. It almost seems conceptual, to answer the question of what a formal dinner at a Momofuku would be like, like dining in an alternate universe. I appreciate making up my own meal at Ssam Bar more now.

The only other restaurant where I've had any intimate interaction with a chef was at Schwa and Ko's never going to be the place where a chef almost holds your hand through a meal, explaining with enthusiasm element by element how each course is sourced and prepared. And for $85 I don't think I'm entitled to that. (Although come to think of it Schwa wasn't that much more money.)

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Ok this reservation system is fucking annoying.

:angry:


�As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy, and to make plans.� - Ernest Hemingway, in �A Moveable Feast�

Brooklyn, NY, USA

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I guess I'm trying to figure out in my head whether I like this format at this price.  What makes it a more worthwhile experience for me than picking and choosing my dishes from the menu at Ssam Bar?

If you pick and choose your dishes at Ssam Bar, do you get food that (in totality) is as good? Not as good? Better?

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