Question. What’s better than David Chang’s bitty 12-seat, 17-course Mich-starred chef’s counter, Momofuku Ko? Answer. Well, not much really... apart from David Chang’s 25-seat, 20-course Mich-starred eatelier, Momofuku Ko version 2.0.
Moving away from its ramen-slingin’ neighbour on First Ave (Momofuku Noodle Bar), the jewel in Chang’s culinary crown has zipped several blocks south, into a tucked-away East Village alley. The new space is more impressive both in size and finish: simple wooden stools have been upgraded to supportive highchairs, ‘90s-favoured plain timber walls have been (rightfully) swapped for striking urban scrawls. Heck, there’s even a dining area; although you can bet your bottom dollar that will be one tough table to secure!
But other elements remain the same. Exec chef Sean Gray is still here, whipping up his spectacular Asian-inspired taste sensations; as are the lines of in-the-know epicures, willing to part with a significant wedge of dosh for the privilege of a coveted perch.
And although the menu changes on a daily basis, some of the most Instagrammed dishes survive. Think: smooth, apricot-hued uni with chickpea hozon puree or the Elysian Fields lamb, coated in pickled onion blossoms, nori powder and chili oil.
Meanwhile, for the purists, the famed foie gras remains, as does the struggle associated with trying to make a reservation. Experience enhancement comes by way of drinks director Jordan Salcito, who offers half glasses and will suggest custom pairing as you so desire. Just peachy.
8 Extra Pl / East Village / dinner Wed-Sun / res essential / online ticketing system / momofuku.com