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Apr 24, 2008 07:35 AM

Persimmon, neo-Korean on E 10th

Persimmon. Walked by this place yesterday on E 10th between 1st and A. It must be brand new—there is zero mention of it anywhere. The tagline on the door says neo-korean kim chi café, or something like that, and seems to offer two set tasting menus, ~$40 and ~$60. Anyone been?

The thing that caught my eye is that the posted menu offers "bo ssam"—made with pork belly rather than butt (and presumably traditionally portioned). Now "bo ssam" is a pretty generic term, but half a block from the Momofukus, well ... it made me chuckle. There are some other quasi-overlaps, but nothing any Korean (pardon: neo-Korean) place wouldn't have.

I've yet to have a bite of the food, and this place definitely deserves an honest shot. But it does seem cynically positioned to attract Noodle Bar overflow and would-be Ko-goers ... or am I reading too much into it?

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  1. FYI, I walked by again, and I was mistaken concerning the price. There is only one set menu, and it is ~$35 for one person or ~$65 for two persons. Nice to see volume discounts in an upscale restaurant.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Mazzer

      The head chef at Persimmon is Youngsun Lee, former chef at Momofuku. I actually took a kimchi making class with him today at ICE (which was fantastic). He mentioned that it took a number of years to find space for his restaurant so who knows, it might be intentionally positioned near his former employer, or it may have just been coincidence given that real estate is so limited. In any case, it sounds like it's worth a try. He seemed to put a lot of emphasis on using high quality ingredients that were as natural as possible (using honey powder instead of processed white sugar, high quality miso paste and gochujang from a particular farm in NJ, etc).

      1. re: hotdishandkimchi

        Hotdish, I was thinking about taking that class in August. Did he teach you guys different variations of bae choo kimchi or did you guys just learn one way to do it?

        1. re: hotdishandkimchi

          Interesting .. thanks for the follow-up. I hadn't even considered the possibility that this was a Momofuku alum.

      2. I walked through this neighborhood today and didn't see the restaurant. Did it close already?

        1. FYI, bo ssam is in no way a generic term. It is and always has been steamed pork belly served with napa cabbage, oysters and kimchi. Momofuku's "ssam" and pork butt "bo ssam" are just reinterpretations of a classic dish.

          1. There was a write-up in NY Mag a couple days ago - sound like it's worth checking out.


            1. Has anyone tried Persimmon yet? I just made a reservation for Monday, but didn't get the impression I really needed to make one too far in advance. The man I spoke with said they are still BYO.

              2 Replies
                1. re: Lau

                  oh thanks! that's exactly what i was looking for. Don't know why search didn't catch it...