Posts Tagged ‘new york city’

Last week was Alex’s birthday, and as luck would have it I had been able to book a table at Momofuku Ko for the Friday night. Perfect way for us gastro ninjas to celebrate. Now I am not sure how much luck was involved in getting a reservation at Ko as it was probably more down to sheer perseverance.  Ko is a tiny 12 seat restaurant, part of David Chang’s Momofuku empire, and to keep things fair you can only book a table through their online reservation system which springs into life at 10am each day. Trying to get a table this way is not for the faint hearted, many wannabe dinners get dispirited after a few rounds of battling their fellow foodies and give up. Not me though because I knew that Alex really wanted to eat there and after a month or so I was able to snag a reservation for 9:50pm. Ugh – so late but so worth it.

The first thing you need to know is that Ko is tiny. The space could house a sandwich shop or some other hole-in-the-wall eatery but you wouldn’t expect a restaurant serving this type of food. All twelve diners are seated at the bar facing the galley kitchen, and watching the magic happen. Chang has managed to create a fine dining-esque restaurant without the restaurant just the kitchen table. Genius.

The second thing is that there is no menu, and vegetarians should go eat at the falafel cart outside because Ko does not accommodate those who aren’t willing to cheat on tofu. As we were working our way through the tasting menu I was trying to keep a mental note of what we were eating but I failed as I got lost in the creativity of each dish. But, I can tell you that there was an egg with caviar, scallops that had been drowned in butter, an Asian ricotta dish that baffled the taste buds (“Is this Asian? Is this Italian?”), duck, frozen shaved fois gras, and oatmeal ice-cream with a caramelized apple cake. I think there may also have been a pate and a panna cotta, and who knows what else.

It was an amazing experience, and the birthday boy left happy.

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I love lattes, flat whites, cappuccinos, french press and drip. Straight-up without any flavoring because nothing beats the taste of coffee with milk. Perfectly happy to make it at home but I also appreciate a decent coffee shop. In fact that morning coffee (with the occasional almond croissant) over the summer was one of the only things that helped me hold my shit together for as long as I did.  I found a lot of comfort in my secular java ritual: the friendly faces at La Colombe, the extra shot in their iced coffee, the calm before the storm and gripping the coffee cup as if it was a lucky talisman.

So it is fair to say that I am a slave to overpriced coffee with steam milk. When I was staying with my mum for my exams this year I got her to drive to the nearest Starbucks so I could buy two flat whites to bring home and fuel me through my revision.  That sounds really bad doesn’t it? Forcing my poor mother to drive me 20 minutes to get coffee but I swear those flat whites were the key to me acing my Pompeii exam (not the hours I spent memorizing gobbet pictures), and hopefully the next house she buys she’ll take distance-to-the-nearest-coffee-shop into consideration.

When I was walking back to the station after my lunch date I passed the Nespresso Cafe/Store on Spring Street. I’ve never really paid much attention to it as it sells those pod style coffee machines but I noticed that its cafe area was jam packed, and as I was ogling those inside (always on the look out for my next celeb sighting) I noticed the menu board and the prices. A latte in this place will set you back $6.50. I am sorry how much? And does that even include tax, and I’ll need to leave a tip AND is the coffee any good? Why would anyone pay $6.50 for a latte when there are half a dozen other cafes where you can get one for almost half of that price. The mind boggles (even for this java junkie) and I am guessing that this means the economic crisis is over.

During the long weekend we ate near the Flat Iron building, and that gave me an opportunity to re-visit Antony Gormley’s Event Horizon installation this time with camera.  I am fairly picky when it comes to art (Greco-Roman is my thing with a few modern artists like Grant Wood thrown into the mix) but I have weakness when it comes to street art. Be it triumphal arches, statues, graffiti or painted apples, pigs, cows or elephants dotted about the city I can’t get enough. I absolutely love Event Horizon. The eerie lone figures dotted about on roof tops remind me of the many sci-fi films I’ve watched – where the hero stands on the roof top to assess the destruction.

My photos are up on Flickr but here are a few to set the mood:

Today was the first day I’ve woken up not feeling like I was going to die from nasal congestion for over a week. Seven days is a very long time when you are battling the common cold. So to celebrate my return to health I obviously decided to embark on a two mile round trip walk to Doughnut Plant at lunch time to pick-up some sugary treats. Yes, two miles. One mile there. One mile back. Currahee.  Ages ago Alex had expressed an interest in the creme brulee donut, and I thought what the heck it’s not snowing and I don’t feel like I am made 95% of mucus.

The weather was glorious as I trotted to the outer reaches of Chinatown and I came back with three different types of donut  (or doughnut) to share. We have crystallized ginger (yum!) to the front right, blackout (super chocolatly so yum!) on the front right and at the back is creme brulee (so-so according to Alex).

Despite the cool reception creme brulee received I am glad that I went there so I now know where it is and how long it takes me to get there. I have a feeling I will be going back because someone is eager to try the peanut butter and jelly donut.