Momofuku Ko Bar

Bars | Restaurants

Next door to the original Ko this is David Chang's more casual but no less fantastic à la carte bar menu

Momofuku Ko Duck Pie East Village Dining

About Momofuku Ko Bar

 & why it made the Carpe City list

  • À la carte and casual, Ko Bar offers all of the creativity and quality cuisine of the fabulous tasting menu next door.
  • If you want to experience David Chang’s eclectic and delicious Ko style food without the many hour, multi-course, $$$$ tasting menu, this is your spot.
  • Open 3-11:30 Tuesday – Saturday it’s a small place with 8 bar seats and 15 table seats and seating is first come first served.
  • FYI – The full tasting menu restaurant is right next door and requires reservations.  They both go by the name of Ko so it can get a bit confusing for first-timers.
  • Best seats are at the bar where you can see the Momofuku team work their magic.
  • The menu changes daily with a few recurring items but always with something interesting.  The staff hand writes the menu in little notebooks every day. (See the pic above.)
  • Get – If the duck pie is offered, try it.  Fried chicken, sourdough crepe and Japanese cheesecake were others we loved during our last visit.  If you are there late night, you can’t go wrong with a post-dinner wine and cheese course.
  • Really great and unique wines by the glass are offered.  We mean really great.  Besides their well-curated “normal” by the glass wines, they have some serious high falutin’ vino that you can taste without having to commit to a whole bottle.

Carpe City Trivia

What does the name Momofuku Ko mean?

Momofuku means “lucky peach” and Ko means “child of.”  David Chang’s first restaurant was a noodle shop and it is said that he chose to name it Momofuku as a nod of honor to Momofuku Ando, the creator of instant ramen.  There also might have been some thought about it sounding a bit like the word “motherf***er” which tends to work well in an NYC kitchen atmosphere.  Either way, you can’t dispute that Chang has a sense of humor.

Can I pick up one of these Japanese cheesecakes at Junior's??

Although just as delectable (some say even MORE delectable), Japanese cheesecake is much different from American cheesecake. It has a light, fluffy and almost jiggly consistency.  It is way less dense than American cheesecake.  It has similar ingredients like vanilla, butter, eggs, cream cheese and sugar but the Japanese version has is a lot less cheese and sugar.   Although we have yet to try, it also seems a bit more difficult to make.  Recipes we have seen require a significant amount of mixing and folding and sifting and water baths etc all of which makes grabbing a beautifully done piece at Momofuku look much more enticing.  We have heard that Keki’s Modern Cakes in Chinatown and Harbs (Multiple locations) have tasty versions as well.

Japanese Cheesecake
Japanese Cheesecake

What is celeriac and how do you pronounce it?

During our last visit to Ko we tasted a celeriac dish with Meyer lemon and truffle and felt like we might need to give this veggie a little face time in our Did You Know section.   So if you DON’T know, Celeriac is pronounced like: suhlair ee ack.

Celeriac is not celery.  However, it is the same as Celery Root.

Celery is cultivated for the stalks that grow above ground where Celeriac or Celery Root is cultivated for the root that grows below ground.  Celeriac has a flavor that is similar to strong celery with perhaps a bit of parsley and nuts mixed in.  Its consistency is similar to potatoes.  Momofuku’s version was delicious and bonus! it is low in calories and loaded with vitamin k.  The perfect dish to justify the Japanese Cheesecake.


By: Christi Scofield

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