Momofuku Ko charitable dinner auction

IMG_1574Giving back to society is of upmost import to me.  With Reserve and Momofuku Ko, I was able to do that while enjoying amazing foods!  To tell you the truth, I actually felt a bit guilty.  I enjoyed this charitable dinner too much for it to be charitable.

Each Saturday, 2 seats at Momofuku Ko is made available for auction on Reserve.  How does it work?  Bids are expressed as a percent of menu prices and are calculated based on the pre-tax and tip bill subtotal.  For example, if a 10% bid is accepted and the cost of items ordered came to $350, an extra $35 would be added to the total (before tax and tip), and that amount would be donated to that month’s charity partner.  For my dinner a few weeks ago, my dinner benefited Donors Choose.

We arrived promptly for our 8:45 reservation.  We were seated at the counter surrounding the open kitchen.  It’s like dinner theater – you were able to watch all the chef work!

But the true benefactor was of course me.  Here is the menu:

  1. Pommes soufflees.   This is Momofuku version of fries.  It’s a crispy potatoes tube filled with cheese.  This is the amuse bouche that kicked off the full experience.
  2. Lobster paloise.  Crab tartlet.  The next course came in two small bites.  I can’t decide which bites was better.  Good thing I didn’t have to choose.
  3. Vegetable roll.  Millefeuille.  The vegetable roll was not entirely vegetable.  It resembled sushi roll with cucumber wrap, but better.  It was followed by millefeuille, filled with roe and topped with matcha.  This was probably my least favorite because the fried crisps were too heavy for the delicate meal that was in progress.
  4. Madai – consomme, shiso.  The Madai was awesome!  This may have been my favorite course.  It was clean.  It was fresh.  It was delicate.  It was the perfect dish.
  5. Razor clam – pineapple, basil.   The razor clam was in a delicious pineapple broth.  The hint of sweetness really worked.
  6. Sunchoke – dry aged beef, tarragon.  This is my second favorite dish.  The sunchoke cooked in beef fat tasted like meat.  My taste buds were fooled, if it wasn’t for the more delicate texture.
  7. Beef – oyster cream.  The beef tartar topped by oyster cream was like nothing I’ve had before.  This twist on surf and turf was both light and decadent at the same time – how was that possible?  The only downside on this dish was crushed popcorn. While it added complexity to the texture, it was unnecessary.
  8. Mackerel sawarazushi – wasabi, dashi ponzu.  The sawarazushi was grilled to perfection.  This was followed by a broth made with mackerel bones.
  9. Soft scramble – potato, ostra, herbs, bread and radish butter.   The meal progressed to the next level with Momofuku’s version of scrambled eggs.  Topped with caviar, it was probably the most fancy scrambled eggs I’ve ever ate.  However, it still seemed like scrambled eggs to me.  The surprise in this course was actually the bread and butter.  It was radish butter.  Radish naturally has a hint of sweetness while butter naturally has a hint of saltiness.  Thus, radish transformed butter as I knew it.
  10. Kabocha – aigre-doux, parmesan  This was the pasta course of the meal.  It had shaved duck!  Duck, shaved!  What?
  11. Lobster – sweet potato, tonburi, sauce  The meal progressed to a fish course, and it was lobster.  The highlight of this course was the lobster foam.  I soaked it up with the bread that was still on the table.
  12. Lamb – wild onion, chili  The meat course was lamb, cooked to medium rare.
  13. Foie gras – lychee, pine nut, riesling jelly  Then came the absolute highlight of the meal – foie gras.  This course had lychee and riesling jelly, and topped with shaved foie gras!!!  They froze the foie gras and shaved on top of the jelly a generous amount.  Foie gras naturally melts in your mouth, and the shaved version melted that much easier.
  14. Huckleberry – laurel bay, bee pollen  Now, we moved onto dessert, and regrettably the meal was coming to an end.  But what a meal! I enjoyed dessert with tea, a perfect ending to a perfect meal.
  15. Chocolate – mint
  16. Mignardises

There is a drink pairing that featured 13 drinks from wine, to beer, to sake.  I personally only had two glasses of whites, just to make sure that I could focus on the food.

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Momofuku Ko is located at 163 1st avenue new york, ny 10003 | between 10th and 11th street.

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