Is Momofuku (Ko or Ma Peche) worth it?
is Ko worth the trouble to get in? Is the dinner delicious? Are either places great for celebrating or are they temples of serious savoring?
I'm trying to decide if my husband and I will treat our daughter and son in law to dinner for her 40th (how did THAT happen!!) with us or just the 2 of them. Either way, reserving @ M Ko seems like a full time job and the photos on the website don't make either place look too inviting. But there are so many raves about it...
It would depend on how adventurous you and your party are, and whether you would think that the price point is worth the no frills environment.
In my experience, about half the dishes at Ko were good, and the rest were very good (the duck and the foie gras were great). But for what it's worth I wouldn't take my parents there because of the backless stools which made me uncomfortable after a while.
I think Ma Peche would be far more confortable and accessible.
re: H Manning
Interesting. Ma Peche seems the least comfortable of the Momos to me-- bright lights, loud-- and I wasn't a huge fan of the food. As to the OP's request, it just doesn't seem like a special occasion place to me.
To the extent that any meal at that price point is worth it, I'd say Ko definitely is. Creative, delicious. And the reservation system isn't that bad.
I love both Momofuku Ko and Ma Peche, and dine at both restaurants regularly. The food at Ko is delicious and creative. Ko is definitely worth the effort of making a reservation via their website. I don't find their website reservation system at all difficult, but you do need an account, and need to be logged into their system at 10: 00 a.m. (NY time) since reservations will be gone usually within the first minute. Ko accepts reservations for parties of 1, 2 or 4 (don't know why they don't accept parties of 3). Ko is more of a "temple of serious savoring", and is among my top 4 restaurants in NYC for serious dining (Per Se, Bouley and EMP are the other 3). The soft cooked egg dish with hackleback caviar and the shaved foie gras dish are my favorites. Ko is only counter seating (no individual tables).
I adore Ma Peche too. Chef Paul Carmichael is doing wonderful things with the menu. His new foie gras torchon with jalapeno, quince, brioche cubes topped with marshmallow is stellar (and is tied with Ko's shaved foie gras as among my most favorite cold foie gras preps anywhere). Ma Peche is more casual, and takes walk-ins and reservations for larger parties. They have some large format dishes (I hear wonderful things about the Beef 7 Ways and the sliced pork chop). Ma Peche also has my most favorite Momofuku dessert: the chocolate (ganache) with thai basil, coconut and coffee. Ma Peche has a great cocktail list too.
Bottom line: Depending on the number of people in your celebration and depending on whether you want a more formal or more relaxed environment, I think you'll have a great time at either restaurant.
163 1st Ave, New York, NY 10003
15 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019