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Aug 13, 2012 07:16 AM

Momofuku Ko Dinner

Last week's dinner was exquisite! (I know, no surprise). I haven't posted a review of Ko in a while, so it's about time for an update. Creative and delicious--always a winning combination. Service was top notch. Chefs were very friendly to all of the guests. Here's what was on the menu:

1) amuses: oyster with apple seaweed vinegar; chicharron with togarashi salt; chicken soup with dumpling.

2) scallops with spicy whipped buttermilk and poppyseeds.

3) Beef carpaccio with arugula, black puffed rice, strawberries, feta cheese and olive powder.

4) smoked red pepper soup with langoustine, orange gels, toasted


5) smoked egg with hackleback caviar, onion soubise and fingerling potato chips. Side car of potato bread muffin. Brilliant dish made even better!

6) walnut agnolotti with fried sweetbreads, lobster mushroom, picked cherries, basil. I don't even like sweetbreads, and this was delicious!

7) halibut with corn tempura and corn puree.

8) shaved frozen foie gras with lychee, Riesling gelee and pinenut brittle.

9) deep fried short rib with peaches and onions. This was even a better version than in the past.

10) buttermilk ice cream with carrot cake and rye crumble.

11) honey sorbet with lemon thyme foam, bee pollen and milk crumble.

Special thanks and farewell to Richard and Jonathan; best wishes to you both!

Last year Ko added padding to the wood stools, and while I never found them uncomfortable, some people did and didn't want to spend 2 - 3 hours sitting on unpadded stools. The new stools are now very comfortable. It is unfortunate that due to the narrow space, Ko is unable to get chairs with backs.

Chef de Cuisine Sean Gray and his sous chefs have created a very exciting menu. Most of this menu was completely new to me. After four years, Ko is still at the top of its game!

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  1. Sounds awesome - thanks for the update! I sadly haven't been in some time.

    I've never bought the "narrow space" argument about the seat-backs. I mean, a back can extend directly up from the existing seat without increasing its footprint one inch.

    That said, I personally have no problem sitting on a backless seat, but its reason #1 I won't ever be bringing my parents there, much as they'd like the meal. I understand Chang's "no vegetarians" rule, but "no people with lower back issues" is a bit unnecessarily exclusive.

    2 Replies
    1. re: sgordon

      I had a wonderful meal at Momofuku but I could barely get through it because I cannot sit without back support. It was so uncomfortable I can never return, what a shame. I guess us older, uncool clientele are not considered.

      1. re: chervil9

        I'm in my early 50s, and probably old enough to be the mom for all the staff at Ko (maybe that's why they like me). The man sitting next to me last week looked older than me, and the staff (on both sides of the counter) was very friendly to him too.

    2. Ellen--thanks for the update! We are hoping to get in for lunch at Ko when we visit over Labor Day weekend. We really enjoyed it a couple of years ago and didn't have an issue with the seats, but it certainly will be nice to have some padding.

      This menu does look completely different that what we had, so I'll look forward to whatever is on the lunch menu (and keep my fingers crossed that I get a reservation!)

      7 Replies
      1. re: mlc66

        I hope you get the reservation! The lunch menu and dinner menu are completely different except for the foie gras. I do hope you go so you can let me know what's on the lunch menu.

        1. re: ellenost

          Last time I went, they had the fabulous corn ravioli that I know you had a chance to enjoy too. That is still one of the dishes I remember the most out of many great meals so I hope to find another favorite or two to add to the list. I'll be poised at the reservation page next Monday at 9:00 am Central time to try to make it happen and I'll be sure to report back.

          1. re: mlc66

            Yes, that corn ravioli was delicious! If it's back on the lunch menu, I'll definitely try for a lunch reservation. I'll look forward to your report.

            1. re: ellenost

              having never been there i was wondering if it's a regular menu that you get to pick what you want, or is it a tasting menu and you get what they give you?

              1. re: zboni

                It's a pre-set tasting menu, though substitutions can be made for common allergies.

                1. re: sgordon

                  It is best to alert the restaurant to any food allergies/restrictions at the time the reservation is made (and not wait until you're in the restaurant).

        2. We ate here last night for the first time. The menu was almost exactly the same- the only big difference was instead of the halibut there was an almond-crusted skate with almond foam on top of some blackened roasted cauliflower with olives and water chestnuts. The last dessert was also different.

          Overall I was incredibly impressed.

          Highlights for me were the skate, the raw scallop, and the beef carpaccio. The foie course was fine, but I'm not a huge foie person - a couple drops on the gelee would have been plenty. The short rib was also very good, but a bit heavy for me coming at the end.

          In general I thought the whole experience just worked perfectly. The pacing of the courses, the size of the dishes (small enough that I ate everything but did not feel stuffed at the end), the friendly staff, the well-oiled machine of the kitchen, the variety of dishes, and the drink pairings. Even the stools were fine for 2 hours.

          One funny thing I noticed - given the Momofuku empire's well-known predilection for porky products, I was amazed that there was zero pork, bacon, ham, etc on the menu. Do they do this consciously?