February 17, 2015

Momofuku Ko 2.0 - New place, same delicious food

After several years, we've finally made it back to Momofuku Ko -- this time in it's brand spanking new and shiny home down in the East Village.  No longer housed at the original noodle bar location, the new Ko, which I refer to as Ko 2.0. is much bigger with bar seating that surrounds an interior kitchen where the chefs prepare your meal course by course in front of you. While you still get the "show", you no longer feel as though you are sitting right on top of the chefs as you might have felt in the old 12 person seater.

Ko 2.0. I think seats more like 30-40 guests at a time (I could be wrong on the number, but you get the point - its at least 3x bigger than the old space).  The meal has been bumped up to $175/person from the $125/person at the old location, or the $85/person meal we tasted a month after it originally opened.  Keep in mind though, lunch at the Ko 1.0 was $175/person so this is really the same price...

Pricey yes, worth it? Probably.  The meal is about 2-3 hours long with 17+ dishes.  Mostly small bites/tapa style, all very pungent with flavor.  Most of the dishes felt new, but not to worry - you will get the shaved foie gras...his signature dish still made the exact same way as I remember with pine nuts, lychee and riesling.
Shaved Foie Gras
You won't however get the much instagrammed "Foie Gras Pheasant pithivier unless you are a "regular" or have done something special to warrant that special dish...while we were there, we only saw one couple receive that, and were told they had already been to Ko 3 times.  Wow...that's investment which surely deserves something extra special..

Here are some pictures of some of what you will receive...
Kabocha pasta with smoked duck
Poached Cod
Seared Mackerel
Soft scrambled egg with caviar
Uni + Chickpea puree.  Interesting play
Overall, while Ko 2.0. lacks some of the intimacy felt in the original location, I thought the food was just as good, while even adding upon the repertoire with some new and interesting flavor combinations. I think the smaller the bite, the better it was - he's really developed the one bite wonder which I think is a departure from the old menu. I'll be curious to see how the menu continues to evolve - perhaps making this a once a year tradition for us. 

By the way - it's a little tricky to find...Extra Place is located between 1st and 2nd street and Bowery and 2nd Ave.  Sort of like a tiny man made alley :)

Momofuku Ko
8 Extra Place

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