There are a bazillion reviews of Momofuku Ko out there, certainly more than there should be for a restaurant that only has 12 seats. And Robyn at The Girl Who Ate Everything had pretty much the exact same meal I had, so check out her post for a full course-by-course breakdown (with mouthwatering photos) but I thought I'd touch on my meal in bullet-point form.
- The much-discussed online reservation system is least busy on Sundays. If you're up at 10am, it's not so hard. I would also imagine Memorial Day weekend will be a good time to try too.
- I'm pretty sure I was the oldest customer in the place all night. The reservation system favors the internet-savvy.
- $85 is a serious bargain for the sort of high-end food you get, and it is a lot of food. Too much food, I thought. By the time we got to our last savory course -- the braised then deep-fried short ribs seen above -- delicious, but I was already stuffed. Smaller portions would still be worth it.
- That said, it wasn't as awesome as I had expected, probably due to unattainable expectations. (I expect to feel the same about the new Indiana Jones movie.) I think maybe three courses were "wows." The rest were merely very, very good.
- Momofuku Ssam Bar is better.
- The three folks behind the stove were some of the most non-stressed chefs I've ever seen. Maybe prep is bitch, but during service, Ko seems like a pretty sweet gig.
- Sour cream ice cream is amazing.
- My friend Kelly, who went with me, and I got different dishes sometimes. To quote her, "Momofuku Ko is sexist. They give the girls fish and chicken dishes and the guys pork and beef. Ladies, dress in man drag if you want the good stuff." I would say some of her dishes were actually better than mine, but this is not the first accusation of this nature I've heard about Ko. If there are any females out there who've eaten at Ko solo, I'd love to hear what you got.
- Kelly also got the first-ever "beer pairing" at Momofuku Ko...which included Budweiser for two of the courses. I got the regular pairing which featured wine, sake, and beer. I left the place more than tipsy.
- The soundtrack to your meal is like what you get at the other Momofukus (if you've been), but slightly more restrained (ie, no AC/DC). I was gonna write down all the songs during my 2 1/2 hour meal but it became apparent there were only about 10 album on shuffle. Those included Luna's entire catalogue, Pavement's Brighten the Corners, the new Stephen Malkmus, The Clash - Sandanista!, Joe Strummer & the Mescaleros' Global a Go-Go, The Kinks Ultimate Collection, and Peel Slowly and See.
MP3: Luna - Friendly Advice (buy)
And I can't not post a song from Elvis Costello's new album, Momofuku, even though "this album has no connection with the restaurant of the same name but E.C. has been told that their cooking is excellent." They're not lying to you, Elvis.