163 1st Ave, New York, NY | Directions 1000340.728969 -73.984556
lunch / fri - sun
dinner / every day
Neighborhoods: Downtown, East Village
Momofuku Ko might have been the most praised, hyped, and discussed restaurant in New York over the last ten years, and its nominal chef, David Chang, the most lionized. So it's hard to get into, but the food is really good. There is no service or comfort level to speak of.
One of The Most Creative Tasting Menus in NYC – Unfortunately, no photos were allowed at the restaurant. I suppose that policy was set up to retain the cloud of ‘mystery’ and ‘exclusiveness’ surrounding mKo, that would only match up to the ‘maddening’ reservation system. Fortunately, they did not mind my side note-taking on a little business card! How can I resist documenting the experience when the fine courses are served with such immaculate pairings and detailed precision!
Here’s a recount of each of the 14 courses to the best of my note-taking skills:
Amuse Bouche #1: Crunchy Pork Rind slices seasoned with Togarashi (Japanese 7-spice chili pepper) served with Black pepper biscuit marinated with Mirin sauce - so so delicious!!
Amuse Bouche #2: Bite slice of seared Lamb with Green Pea Puree
Amuse Bouche #3: Lobster Salad served in a spoon, with Shiseido Mushrooms
Appetizer #1: Long Island Fluke with Buttermilk Cream Sauce, topped with Poppy Seeds and Chives
Appetizer #2: Tataki Mackerel Sashimi with Mustard Oil and Sprouts
Appetizer #3: Oxtail Consummate – Pulled Oxtail Wonton in oxtail broth, with Caramelized Onion Jam, Bean Sprouts, and Thai Basil
Entree #1: Hillcrest Poached Egg with Black Caviar, sous-vide onions, served with a side of Fingerling Potato Chips and Sweet Potato Vinegar - one of my favorite dishes
Entree #2: Snail Sausage with Shavings of Italian Black Truffle, over a bed of Hand-torn Pasta, accompanied by Pecorino and Crispy Chicken Skin - interesting experience; I loved it!
Entree #3: Almond Crusted Skate, Roasted Cauliflower, in an Almond Milk Foam with Yuzu and Crunchy Olives - best skate I've ever had!
Entree #4: Generous shavings of Foie Gras from the Hudson Valley with crunchy Pine Nut Brittle and Riesling Gelatins and Lychee - The foie gras shavings melted in my mouth and stole the show! The sweetness of the lychee perfectly balanced the fatiness of the duck liver. Later, I found out that Wylie Dufresne helped conceptualize the dish!
Entree #5: Roasted Duck Breast from California, with a side of Chinese Mustard Greens, 2 little Tokyo Turnips topped with Pumpernickel Crumbs
Amuse Bouche #4: Duck Pate of the liver, heart and legs. Topped with Pistachio bits
Palate Cleanser: Spiced White Wine Sorbet with Elderflower Syrup over Asian Pears - perfect dish!
Dessert: Root Beer Ice Cream on one side. Pretzel Panna Cotta on the other, with Caraway Powder.
What makes mKo different: Its unique courses are very inventive and deliciously flavorful. Although we had 14 courses, I didn’t feel overly stuffed when I left. The courses were well-balanced and I felt like I was taken through one of the highest forms of culinary experience; it was artistically creative, delightfully tasty and craftily designed to imprint a wonderful memory in your mind. The food at mKo exceeded my expectations.
The Best Fried Chicken: Polar opposite sides of earth! – FINALLY!!!! Momofuku Ko, this was a great dinner outing for a group of friends. The Steamed Buns/ chicken literally-MELTS in your mouth, AND a very good alternative to the classic Steamed pork bun if your sans the pork type.
The dinner- Prix fixe- My friendly gentleman friend took the honor of making reservations for the group of us and wise selection- the fried chicken dinner, accompanied by a unconventional salad mix bowel of Boston lettuce, radishes, carrots, mint, cilantro, and baby peeled carrots. Chicken is a combination of classically mastered beer battered southern fried chicken meets the Asian delectable bbq fried chicken... um um good is all I can say. AND chicken is enough to pack lunch for 4 after dinner!!!!!
Did I mention that the dinner comes with $ individually crafted sauces to suit all palette taste bud types- if your a Hout sauce type- Momofuku's is to DIE for!!!!!!!.
MUST do Momofuku Ko again-
Good Food, Good Service, Beautiful People – My wife and I went there on Saturday and were seated facing the kitchen. I love watching how the food was prepared because it really built up our appetite. The guy running the kitchen was very courteous by answering my questions. He made my dish (Mayan Prawns and Grits) right in front of me and then when he served me my dish, he patiently explained all the components and then asked me afterwards how I liked my dish. Our waitress Jill who was cute as a button was very attentive and helpful with our order. We would definitely go back again.
Come if you don't mind the rudeness – Absolutely horrible, horrible service. Every time I go here I feel I need to kow-tow to the waiters and greeters there just to get a seat or food to be served promptly. Employees just don't care. They see mad, crazy business and lines forming out the door and you can leave or complain if you want because you are dirt and they are royalty and people will always come here because the food is awesome so they don't have to treat you like human beings. They have absolutely awesome pork buns and pork noodle if you don't mind being treated WORSE than the livestock being served.
overpriced, average dishes, but good steamed buns – Long waits for salty average food. I've orderd the pork ramen and kimchi stew. Both were extremely salty and below average. Much better ramen can be found at Ramen Sategaya a few block down on 1st ave. So far, the only dish I have found to be tasty are the Steamed Buns with Pork (but waaay over priced at $9 for a few bites)
BAD BAD BAD – 160 Bucks for a BAR Seat? BAD attitude (unpaired access policy not clearly declared is an example) and Unpolite Policy? Neither Was GOD in Corduroy Trousers serving or cooking We could tollerate this way to do "Ristorazione". This place is Not Pinchiorri, or Cipriani. These kind of places can close today for us.
Always remember that Chefs and Maitres Should be Hosting Friends that opens their Homes to Friends.
Other Attitude are Fashion Fakes self delcarations.
It has been a while since I went, but it definitely worth the wait. All of the courses were interesting and well done. I had a late reservation and the chef's seemed more chatty than mentioned in previous reviews. Service was great. Maybe a little pricey, but whatever!! Bring on the frozen Fois!!
Good but uneven, terrible cancellation policy – I went to Ko before, sometime this spring. The food was very uneven--some dishes were completely outstanding while others were utterly forgettable. After all the hype I was prepared to be completely blown away... I was not.
I got reservations for tonight but could not go. I posted them on Chowhound, and fully assume that someone snatched them up. I checked on their site and did not see the green Xes showing my slot was available.
Now however I get an email from Ko telling me that I will be charged the cancellation fee in accordance with their policy. I would understand if they were left with an empty space--but I know for a fact that the reservations were taken by someone else.
I am so annoyed with these people. With customer service... no--attitude like this they will not survive the economic downturn where we all think twice before plunking down $200 for dinner. I certainly won't be going back--it just wasn't spectacular enough the first time I went to justify their S#$%& attitude.
Far too expensive - disappointing – After trying and trying and trying and trying and trying... (I stop here but you got me), I finally scored a table for 3 friends and me at Ko. The dinner set us back $235 each with drinks and 15% tip. I think it was worth half that because:
1- Booking this place is a major hassle. I probably spent over 2 hours online, 5 mins a day...
2- the food is good, sometimes very good, but sometimes also bland, and the prix fixe was raised to $100 vs the $85 in earlier reviews. For that price I would like real caviar (from a sturgeon, not paddlefish) and French truffle (not Australian). It was creative, but not worth $100. Still I loved the foie gras shavings and quite a few other things. On the other hand our duck was overcooked.
3- the main disappointment came from the wine and sake pairings. They were well chosen, but overpriced, you had to choose between the $50, the $85 and the $150 set of pairings and it was disorientating, the waitress was not so knowledgeable about the wines and she served the smallest quantities.
Overall my feeling is that it was good, but for the money I paid I would have liked them to be a bit more generous too, with the ingredients and with the booze! I might go back, just not until a while from now, and if meanwhile chef Chang gets bored and closes the place, I won't mind too much...
Fantastic, once in a lifetime experience – Just got home from Momofuku Ko after having had a memorable dinner there! The place is fantastic that I can't put words into motion to describe the experience...the fact that David himself cooks and serves right in front of you was fascinating and the dishes were so unique and delicious that my taste buds have never felt such pleasure!
Try your best to score a spot...the reservation system isn't too hard...keep at it...it'll be worth the pampering and special service you get!
Bravo Momofuku Ko...service, staff and all is great!
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