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Momofuku Ko: no foie gras or pork -> worth it?

c
cstadler Jun 21, 2012 01:08 PM

I want to take my wife to Ko but she doesn't eat foie gras or pork. Would it still be worth it?

  1. sgordon Jun 21, 2012 01:17 PM

    Nope. Unless you're going to eat her foie and pork dishes for her, no sense going there. And there's likely pork fat, and bacon as a flavoring element, in some dishes that don't even have pork as the main protein as well. Depending how strict she is about it, she might have to skip three (for sure) and perhaps as many as five dishes, including what's arguably the single most famous dish they've created.

    1. ellenost Jun 21, 2012 03:15 PM

      Yes it's still worth going to Ko even without eating pork and foie gras. My sister doesn't eat pork, and she's dined with me at Ko several times, and the chefs have no problem creating alternate dishes for her. She once received a lobster dish when i received a halibut dish that had pork in the dish. The chefs gave the same lobster dish to a guest who had an allergy to regular fish but could eat shellfish. The foie gras is only one course. Provided you indicate when you make your reservation your wife's food restrictions, she should be able to have an excellent meal.

      7 Replies
      1. re: ellenost
        sgordon Jun 21, 2012 03:44 PM

        I was under the impression it was zero substitutions - though I didn't really consider that when dining as two- or four-tops sometimes two different dishes will be sent out for a particular course. I suppose if the alternate dishes happen to be pork-free, you're in luck, but no way to know what they'll be in advance, really. Maybe they always plan for that, though - could be that it's always the common allergy (shellfish, nuts) and/or common voluntary dietary restriction (pork) containing dishes that get the dual course treatment - within reason. Never really thought about it.

        1. re: sgordon
          ellenost Jun 21, 2012 04:36 PM

          I haven't seen Ko deliver alternate dishes to the 2 or the rare 4 tops. Since their lunch and dinner menus (with the exception of the foie gras) are completely different, the chefs will sometimes use one of the dishes from the other menu as the substitution. Chef Mitch gave my sister the lobster dish from the lunch menu when we had dinner. The chefs at Ko are very good about substitutions for dietary restrictions as long as they know about the need ahead of time. They won't change a dish simply if someone doesn't like the dish or a component in the dish. For instance, I hate olives; if a dish at Ko has olives in it, I can't ask the chefs to make me something else.

          1. re: ellenost
            sgordon Jun 21, 2012 07:03 PM

            I think every time I've been but one - though it's been over a year now since my last visit - there's been at least one course where pairs got two different but kind-of-related dishes. I remember my first visit, we were a four-top (this is before they even did lunch) and at least two (maybe three, my memory is fuzzy) of our courses were "paired" ones.

            1. re: sgordon
              ellenost Jun 21, 2012 08:35 PM

              Really how interesting; I've dined at Ko about 40 times in the past 4 years and have never seen anything but the same dishes served to everyone except for people that have dietary restrictions. I had heard that when Ko first opened it did provide alternate courses for pairs, but I've never seen it myself. Now I feel deprived.

              1. re: ellenost
                Wilfrid Jun 21, 2012 08:52 PM

                If you've dined at Ko 40 times in 4 years, I certainly believe you've seen the same dishes.

                1. re: ellenost
                  sgordon Jun 22, 2012 04:40 AM

                  Dang. That's a lot of Ko.

                  I think you're right - the paired dishes were our earler visits, then they tapered off. I haven't been as often as you so I'm not as attuned to the subtle changes the menu takes over time. And like I said, it's been over a year since we've been - and it was probably a year or so before that the last time. The first year they were open I went about three times, could be once they started doing lunch they ended the paired dish thing. I remember commenting about it w/ my gf the first time we didn't get them (in retrospect, I think it was the last two times, not just the last vist we didn't get them) - we were a little disappointed, it made the meal more fun. Maybe that's why we haven't been back as often, great as they are... (also, I found they weren't rotating the dishes enough for my taste. I'll never get tired of the foie course - though if I had it ten times a year I might - but after having the egg with soubise onions, like, four times, I was a little burnt on it...)

                  1. re: sgordon
                    ellenost Jun 22, 2012 05:10 AM

                    Chef Shawn recently tweeted that they've recently changed 95% of the menu, so I look forward to having dinner again at Ko in about a month.

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