Was in NY over the last week and did the David Chang tri-fecta. Momofuku noodle bar, momofuku milk bar, momofuku ko.
Momofuku noodle bar was quite good. Pork buns were tasty–nothing special, but well executed. Best dish was this chilled spicy noodle dish with candied nuts and Taiwanese sausage. Nice combination of sweet and heat–very addictive.
Momofuku milk bar was not for me. Perhaps I just don’t get it. The cereal milk ice cream was just overly sweet–was over it after a couple bites. Far inferior even within its class, for example, to the soft serve at Honeymee. The crack pie–not sure what this is supposed to taste like, but I didn’t enjoy it.
Momofuku Ko was something of a disaster. This was, without alcohol, 265 a person after tax and tip. There were 18 courses. Many of them were good; others just okay. I don’t have the patience or time to go course by course, but a couple of examples:
–One of the courses that sounded the best to me was razor clams in a pineapple broth. But the broth was overpoweringly sweet–felt like Dole pineapple juice. Now obviously it was not. But there was no balance in the broth.
–One of the famous courses is aged rib eye with their own version of A-1, served with a “churro” that is actually a potato in churro form. Fun looking dish, but in the end, the steak was overwhelmed by A-1 and the churro potato was like…a decent french fry. Just nothing spectacular.
–The course that concerned me the most was chantarelle and baked egg in a dashi. After a series of early, whacky courses, this was supposed to be the comfort course. But it was all wrong. The egg was overcooked. The dashi was bland. The conception of this course was right, but the execution just wasn’t there.
–My dining partner and I ate almost none of a “chicken pie,” which was layered with chicken liver. As the 16th course, covered in a cream sauce, this was the last thing we wanted at that point in the meal.
This is not to say there were not excellent courses. There was a deft foie gras tart, a delicious dessert with rhubarb and dehydrated cake, and a spectacular dish of sweet potato mousse, creme fraiche, and caviar. There were just too many misses on this evening. And at the price point, I found myself thinking back to a meal I had at L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon, in a similar “casual tasting menu” context that just blew this out of the water in conception and execution.
A couple of pics:
Sweet potato mousse, caviar, creme fraiche.
Nice steak ruined by sauce and dumb potato.
Foie gras tart with lychee and other stuff. Frozen and shaved foie over the top.