Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

BryanZ

Momofuku Ko (Part 1)

Recommended Posts

Boy is that one incredibly annoying website.

is this the official ko website? I cannot seem to enter a phone number - doesn't recognise any of the formats i try...


"Experience is something you gain just after you needed it" ....A Wise man

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Is it too much of a stretch to say that the soubise onions are at all distantly related to French onion dip, like the really shitty Americana kind?

No - not like that at all. Closer to a really thick french onion soup if you managed to preserve a perfectly white color, but that's not quite it either. If I remember right, Mastering the Art had a soubise recipe that contained rice, but this wasn't that. I know that there are also some recipes that use cheese but there was none of that either. My guess is that it was incredibly thinly sliced onion, softened in butter but not allowed to brown, and maybe a bit of light veal stock as well. But I'm totally guessing here...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The smoked egg/caviar/fingerling potatoes/onions simultaneously stumped me and took my breath away.  How does this dish work? Why are these things even together on the plate?  Truly more than the sum of its parts.  I would love to have been in the room when they came up with this dish.

Daisy17, can you explain your reaction to this dish a bit more? I liked this dish quite a lot, but I'm not sure why it's not just Momofuku's interpretation of some fairly obvious combos (eggs, caviar, potatoes, onions). I think they've managed to innovate the form of those items in a great way- and the purple vinegar is delicious- but I can't really understand the stumped reaction. Did you like it more than the Jean Georges egg or the L'Arpege egg, for example?

I thought it was a fairly standard high-haute dish. a very good one but not out of the ordinary. more of a demonstration that they can do that kind of food when they want to. I haven't had the L'Arpege egg but I like the JG egg a little more (though I'd put the Ko egg in the same class in terms of execution).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's currently a 1-top available for tomorrow at 9:15.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the wine list has been fleshed out. two different wine pairings are now offered. interesting selection of microbrews as well.

pea soup with a grilled langoustine is absolutely fantastic. usually I find vegetable soups tend to have a lot of flavor from a stock...this was all pea. reminded me a bit of that pea flan from the old version of 11 Madison.

cereal milk panna cotta with guacamole and chocolate was also very nice.

this isn't Ssam Bar or Noodle Bar, the cooking is quite a bit more refined. if anything it's an attempt to take haute technique and use different ingredients. witness the kimchi consomme (which I didn't have this time)...at ssam bar you'd expect a heavy kimchi kick from a dish like that...not here. it's a legitimate, elegant consomme. but it's really good.


Edited by Nathan (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

4/10, Thursday, 2-top at 10:20pm available....


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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For a major critic to weigh in with four stars after just one visit seems a bit absurd. I'm not saying it's not deserving, but it seems like Platt and NYM are just trying to the "the first" to weigh in on this hot new restaurant. It also seems like an inadvertent slight to Bruni who has (jokingly) said he won't get to review the place until 2009 or 2010. This seems like a "well look at how on the ball we are" jab.

The review itself is fine, it's just how it was done and the context that it's being done in.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It struck me as an accurate, measured review.

Yes, but after less than a month, and after only one visit—which Platt admits he wouldn't ordinarily do. As explanation for violating his own standards, the only reason given is the difficulty of getting in. But as many people here have shown, it isn't that hard to get reservations a second or third time, and I don't think any of us have editorial assistants mouse-clicking on our behalf.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Moreover, it wasn't posted, as usual, on Monday along with its appearance in print.

I can't recall another instance when a Platt review was rushed onto the website before its print edition.

Unless his reviews are now regularly going to appear on the New York Mag website the Wednesday before they're printed, why was this necessary?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

He wanted to be the first major-media critic to review the place. So what? The only objection I'd have to that would have been if the review suffered for it. It didn't. It's a well-done review, much better than Platt's average for sure.


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)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

His argument seems to be that had Platt tried harder and waited he could have gone a second time. Yes, and again . . . so what?

Somebody please explain to me what's wrong with the actual review. Does anybody disagree that it's a well-done review?


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)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
His argument seems to be that had Platt tried harder and waited he could have gone a second time. Yes, and again . . . so what?

Somebody please explain to me what's wrong with the actual review. Does anybody disagree that it's a well-done review?

That his review may not be representative of a normative Ko experience due to his isolated encounter (i.e. one visit) is the only objection that I can think of.

I don't know. I've never been.


“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
His argument seems to be that had Platt tried harder and waited he could have gone a second time. Yes, and again . . . so what?

Somebody please explain to me what's wrong with the actual review. Does anybody disagree that it's a well-done review?

You are entirely correct. It is a well-done review.

I am just saying that if your standards are that you pay multiple visits before writing a review, then you don't relax those standards for just one restaurant—especially one so important that you've given it four stars.

I am also saying that the reason he gives for relaxing his standards (difficulty of getting in) is pretty lame, given that his review appeared faster than NYM's reviews usually do.

Of course, if what you say is true, then he knows perfectly well that this wasn't the real reason for compromising his standards: "He wanted to be the first major-media critic to review the place."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

new dishes appear at Ko with regularity. a proper review needed more than a one-visit sampling.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Momofuku Ko seems to me to be a unique restaurant -- on a lot of levels, of course, but some that perhaps make Platt's one-visit review more appropriate.

First, there is no a-la-carte ordering at all. You have whatever it is that they are making that day. I'm sure that the offerings will change over time, but it doesn't seem as though Ko will be one of these places where the menu changes on a weekly or nightly basis. Indeed, the menu seems more or less the same as it was when they first started serving around a month ago. There is no indication that the menu will be radically different in another month, although I suppose it could be (in which case Platt could always re-visit the place).

Second, part of Platt's thesis seems to be that everyone except the most fanatical Momofuku fan is likely to visit Ko no more than once, and so his one-visit review reflects that experience.

If this were a restaurant where one would like to taste lots of other dishes and wines in different combinations with different party sizes and at different hours, and if this were a restaurant one could reasonably expect to visit many times -- then a multiple visit review makes more sense.


--

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Of course, if what you say is true, then he knows perfectly well that this wasn't the real reason for compromising his standards: "He wanted to be the first major-media critic to review the place."

Standards at New York Magazine? I think we should all just be glad the review was in English.

That his review may not be representative of a normative Ko experience due to his isolated encounter (i.e. one visit) is the only objection that I can think of. 

But it sort of is the norm. The restaurant's business plan, as far as I can tell, is designed to discourage repeat visits. In addition, it's a set menu that changes only a bit from week to week. So what would be the point in going back the following week, except perhaps to gauge consistency? In any event, Platt is up front about the review being based on one visit -- he's not hiding the ball on that. People can discount his review as much as they want, based on that piece of information.

Platt, Bruni (have you seen his blog on this issue?) and others are, I agree, being a bit overly dramatic about how hard it is to get in. I'm sure all the major critics have had multiple offers of reservations from readers. We know it's possible to reserve multiple times with a little diligence. I've made four reservations (one wasn't honored, one time I went, and two times I had to cancel due to travel). But sure, it's possible. So if there's a flaw in the review it's that on the issue of reservations it dramatizes the situation to make a point. Not unusual.


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)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm sure that the offerings will change over time, but it doesn't seem as though Ko will be one of these places where the menu changes on a weekly or nightly basis.  Indeed, the menu seems more or less the same as it was when they first started serving around a month ago. 

actually, the menu seems to change somewhat automatically for second-time visitors.

I was getting different courses than the people next to me.


Edited by Nathan (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

actually, the menu seems to change somewhat automatically for second-time visitors.

I was getting different courses than the people next to me.

That's pretty remarkable. Did you have any say in that before the meal started?

I'll be pretty chapped next week if I don't get the foie dish I had on my first visit but it's being offered to first timers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...