Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Momofuku Ko

A recent friend's birthday had me try to get reservations to Momofuku Ko. It's not too difficult with their online reservation system. But it's not easy either. It takes patience and quick hands with the computer. I was able to score a 7:30pm reservation on a Tuesday night. Once inside, the hostess/waitress/sommelier asks for my confirmation email. I gladly handed it to her. She escorts me to my area of the blond bar that surrounds the open kitchen. There's only room for about 18 people there. We sit and chat. I order a glass of wine ($17) and wait for the my meal to start. I knew this was going to be a good experience. What I didn't know was that I was going to be wowed over and over again with each dish carefully presented to me. Unfortunately, no cameras allowed inside. So no pictures to drool over. I had to make a mental check with every dish so that I would be able to report back on it. And so the beginning of my 10 course meal started with: Raw hamachi served in a spoon: clean and fresh. Definitely whet my appetite. Buttery biscuits with black pepper: the most buttery biscuit I've ever had. The black pepper cut the fattiness really well. Chicarrons: fried, crispy pig skin which was light with a little bit of spicy chili powder (?) Raw diver scallops with crunchy bits and a dressing: again very fresh. The scallops were clean and sweet. Chilled shiso soup with uni, sugar snap peas, and vegetables: the soup was refreshing and clear. The sea urchin was smooth and creamy. They gave us a good portion. The vegetables rounded out the soup well. Soft boiled egg with caviar and onions: this was one of my favorites. The egg was creamy and runny. The good portion of caviar add the saltiness to the dish. And the creamy onion added a nice sweetness. Saffron risotto-like dish with Chinese sausage and crawfish: strong saffron flavor balanced with the sweetness of the sausage. Grilled trout with potato risotto: the trout was buttery soft and very flavorful. The potato risotto was so buttery and creamy. A nice treat. Chunks for radishes on the bottom rounded out the dish with freshness. Shaved foie gras with lychees and riesling gelee: my absolute favorite dish of the night. The foie gras was frozen then microplaned onto a dish of sweet lychees and biting wine jelly. The creamy fattiness of the liver was well balanced with the fruit. The wine jelly gave the dish a slight but welcomed bitterness. There was a very good portion of foie gras. So good! Fried beef short rib with spring onion medley: the short rib was deep fried which created a nice crunchy crust. But the inside was left medium rare. So tender and juicy. I only remember a grilled scallion on top and other sauteed onions on the side. The sauce was fantastic. Cantaloupe sorbet with lemon granite: normally, I don't like cantaloupe flavored things but this was really good. It was almost like eating cantaloupe itself but it was cold and creamy. The lemon granite added the small citrus that the dish needed. It gave it a cleaner taste. Macerated blueberries with crunchies and sauce: unfortunately, I don't remember the ingredients to this dish. It was really good though. There was a sweet, nutty sauce paired with blueberries and some crunchy bits. It was a great ending to a fantastic meal. So 10 courses for $100. I think this is one of the best tasting menus deals in the city. This was definitely one of the best meals I've ever had. The food was clean, fresh, innovative, and absolutely delicious. I left the place happy and full. The service was great as well. The waitresses removed dishes at the right time. They replaced silverware at the right time too. My water was always filled. The chefs always described each dish in full. We watched them as they prepared everything. And of course, they tasted everything. It was great to see people at work and doing something well. Here are some tips on scoring a reservation: 1. Momofuku Ko takes reservations one week in advance. So if you want a Friday night reservation, you have to log onto their website on Saturday. 2. They start taking reservations online at 10am every day. 3. Before you try for a reservation, makes sure you fill out the information (including credit card information) for an account. It's necessary to even log on. 4. For the day you want to have lunch/dinner, make sure you can make it at any time within a 3 hour range. On the website, there is usually only a 3 second window to pick a time. It's best to just be able pick any available time. 5. The day you try, log into your account at 9:58am. Check their clock and coordinated it with your computer's clock. 6. I do suggest to NOT log into your account untl 9:58am. I had the mishap of logging on too early. It resulted in a missed reservation due to their automatic timing out system. 7. After logging in, at 9:59am continuously click the refresh button on their website until 10am comes around. 8. At 10am, you'll automatically be brought to the main page, where you will select dinner or lunch for 1, 2, or 4 people. It important to be quick here. 9. After you pick, it automatically brings you to their schedule page. Anything with a green check mark, click on it immediately. There's no time to choose an optimal time. This is where you'll have to be the quickest. 10. If you're fortunate enough to catch that reservation, you'll have about 60-80 seconds to accept or decline the reservation. 11. Once you click accept and submit, you'll be brought to another page where you'll have to fill out your information again, including credit card information. 12. Once you submit that, you'll receive a thank you and a confirmation email. 13. Make sure you get this automatic email. It's your golden ticket into the restaurant. 14. Remember, if you cancel, do so before 24 hours of your reservation. Otherwise, you'll be charged $150 per person anyway. Good luck and happy eating!

Momofuku Ko 163 1st Avenue New York, NY 10003

1 comment:

  1. Oh the things we do for food!!!


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