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“Outstanding”
Review of Momofuku Ko

Momofuku Ko
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Ranked #425 of 14,216 Restaurants in New York City
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $125 - $195
Cuisines: American, Asian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Reservations
Neighborhood: East Village
Reviewed April 8, 2013

If you really enjoy food and are open to new and different things, this is a don't miss restaurant in Manhattan. Of course, you will need a near miracle to secure a reservation online (log on their website at 9:59:59 AM EST sharp!) for the dozen seats at the chef table bar. Friendly, well choreographed cooking and service without even a trace of snobbishness. The highlight was possibly a smoked egg with caviar and onion confit accompanied by a soft roll with smoked butter to sop up what was left in the bowl, but every course was quite remarkable. Small, but well chosen wine and beer list was the only minor drawback. Possibly the most eclectic and fun playlist heard at a restaurant adds to the atmosphere.

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Thank JBMandJCM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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187 - 191 of 341 reviews

Reviewed April 7, 2013

Let me start with the reservation system. No wait, let me start with a quick overview of the restaurant. There are twelve seats and they are cycled through twice a night. This means that 24 guests a night. That is it. OK, back to the reservation system. At 10:00AM (Eastern Time), 10 days before your requested reservation, you must logo into their web site and request your spots. The spots book up in less than 5 minutes every day. They only take reservations for 4, 2, or 1. You will not get a reservation for 4. Nobody is that lucky, don't even try. Get a mix of 2s and 1s in near time proximity and call them to modify, after the fact. From 10:00AM until 12:00PM, the web site is so flooded with attempters that the web site does not even respond to request to see the web site. There is no other way to do this, so try, try again. We seemed to have the best luck on Sunday morning (my assumption is that the secretaries have the day off so us normals can get a chance. They were still gone in less than 5 minutes.

The restaurant is in a janky looking area near NYU across the street from a check cashing place. Not the place you would expect to go for a Prix Fixe dining experience. The door looks like the entrance to the stairwell to the apartments above. Again, you wonder, "Why did I fight so hard to get this reservation?" I won't be specific on what goes on behind that door as that is part of the experience, but it is worth the fight and worth the cost.

To illustrate our perspective on this, we also dined at Eleven Madison Park and Daniel during our visit. Daniel and Eleven Madison Park was more elegant and tradition in their dining, but Ko was more personal. We talked with another patron and the head chef for the whole meal and really got the full experience of our meal. Also, if you compare value against Eleven Madison Park and Daniel, this was a steal.

I will say that we dinner and full drink pairing. Again, I will not be specific, but if you are adventurous enough to go to Ko, be adventurous enough to order the dinner and full drink pairing. The food and drinks were mind-blowing. They did things that you would not order (maybe not eat or drink) based on the description. Sometime the risks were not a 100% success, but they were experiences like you will not ever get again in your life. If you want safe, Eleven Madison Park awaits. if you want to taste combinations that other restaurants will be trying to recreate in 5 years when the human palette catches up, you go to Ko.

While I did experience everything Ko had to offer, I will definitely go again (even though it is so hard to get a reservation). It will be a new experience next time. If I may paraphrase what the head chef said, "If a restaurant is serving the same menu 5 years later, there is something wrong."

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2  Thank James R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 1, 2013

This was the best meal I've ever eaten. Do the wine pairings. Fantastic. There was nothing that wasn't a taste revelation. Truly works of edible art.

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Thank Wvscott00
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 29, 2013

I am constantly amazed as to the talent that is available to us for dining options. To book requires strategy planning, especially when you are travelling. But the experience is worth it. A 6.20 pm booking on a Monday night was a great way to start our stay in NYC. Watching the preparation, plating of the food and chatting with the chefs was a lovely way to enjoy the wonderful food, that we were given to eat. David Chang you are wonderful and so are your staff.

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Thank Carole2073
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 13, 2013

I thought there the rave reviews were just hype but I was blow away by this restaurant. The food was incredible. Every dish was interesting, well balanced and absolutely delicious! The pairings were perfect on some courses and OK on others but the drinks themselves were amazing regardless of the dish. The setting was very nice and I was surprised at how relaxed the atmosphere was. We were able to talk to the chefs and ask questions. It almost turns into a show watching them prepare the food. The service was excellent on every point, from clearing dishes, to being knowledgeable about the drinks, and being all together helpful and friendly. While the whole experience is a bit pricey I definitely think it is worth it. You just don’t get an amazing meal like that every day. I would recommend for any and every foodie!

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Thank LeeLafferty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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