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2009-10-26

>hundred peachy tasting notes, Momofuku Ko

How do you meet such high expectations? Momofuku Ko consistently ranks in the top 10 best New York restaurant lists and rave reviews continue.

Improbably, this tiny restaurant delivers. Instead of disappointing, it gives me great hope and a glimpse of limitless future possibilities.


No photography allowed, and I obliged. The poster on the right was found in the bathroom.


I shall not decipher my notes. If you want to take a look, go ahead, but be warned, it reads like gibberish (because it is): ...spare space madai trimming disciplined chanterelle arugula yuba skin tomato marinated in ketchup anise basil mirin crispy pork rind butter bread cube spanish mackerel tataki ginger pickled shallot puffed rice yuzu radish tortellini wrapped oxtail meat oxtail consomme bean sprouts poached egg caviar fingerling potato chips parsley corn ravioli chorizo pickled tomatoes mexican cheese "high end tacos" caramelized sweet trout swiss chard potato radish dill garnish grated foie gras riesling gelee lychees pinenut brittle deep-fried beef short ribs cooked sous vide 48 hours onions animal cracker ice cream peach syrup diced peaches olive oil ice cream macerated blueberries black pepper crunch black pepper granita...

Simply put, it was a success, and I was highly impressed.


Now, onto the name. The tale of Momofuku's rise must begin with its distinct name. Momofuku Noodle Bar, Momofuku Ssam, Momofuku Ko. The first time you hear the funny name, you may find yourself repeating, Momofuku ... More more... fuk... what??

But Momofuku is hardly an unfamiliar name. Taiwanese entrepreneur named (Wu) Bai Fu (March 5, 1910 – January 5, 2007), inventor of cup noodles and instant noodles, founder of Nissin Food Products Co., was the original Momofuku. THE Ramen King himself, Andō Momofuku.
Yes, Bai Fu in Mandarin, 百福, meaning hundred fortunes, is Momofuku in Japanese. Bai is byaku or hyaku, but also momo - meaning a hundred, a great number, all, a great amount. Fu is fuku - meaning fortune, luck, wealth, blessing. It can mean "food which has been offered to gods." Why not? Of course, momo is a yummy name. Peach is also momo (桃, もも, モモ) as in Peach Boy, Momotarō (桃太郎).
Ko can mean small (小) or child, seed (子) in Japanese. "Nose" (코) in Korean. Detecting any peachy tasting notes yet?
Wishing you much peachy luck, ma pêche.

2009-10-14

>butter dish match-up, Le Bernardin vs. Jean Georges, top New York French restaurants



Lucky me. Got to savor back-to-back French cuisine prepared by consummate New York chefs, at
Jean Georges (Jean Georges Vongerichten) and Le Bernardin (Eric Ripert.) Which of these fine French restaurant meals did I enjoy more? They were both excellent, but at the risk of you calling me thoroughly spoiled, I do have to tell you I am, at the moment, a bit tired of these same old same old swanky fare. So I won't chronicle the food in detail. Sorry! iPhone photos, Jean Georges above, Le Bernardin below. So, who "wins"? What shall I compare? Le diable est dans les détails, mais bien sûr. On one score, one of these restaurants wins by a considerable margin. Yes, I do love butter so, I never get tired of the truly fine butter they serve at these fine establishments. Le Bernardin servers would keep taking my butter dish away before the butter was even half-consumed, replacing it with a fresh one. They repeated this three times with understated flair. Alas, Jean Georges failed to notice the butter dish as it was completely consumed. Le Bernardin wins!! Yay!!!

2009-08-29

>Peruvian tiraditos, cebiches auténticos con "leche de tigre," Limón, San Francisco

Hot hot hot Friday night. It so happens that grocery trekker was looking for a place to eat in San Francisco's Mission District, and Limón seemed to be just about the only place with air conditioning.

"At long last, the original location of Limon returns this evening. It's been a long road back for the Peruvian joint—it's been nearly 15 months since it originally shut down in the wake of a fire. Since then, the disaster insurance has been a disaster and during the interim, owner Martin Castillo even opened up a more casual offshoot a few blocks away in Limon Rotisserie. But tonight, Limon reopens to the public. The interior has gotten a noticeable facelift, and the updated menu will mostly stay the course of its prior incarnation of modern Peruvian cuisine." SF.eater.com opening alert

What a perfect night to enjoy ceviches and tiraditos at a cool primo seat. The energetic staff seemed excited, and the atmosphere was absolutamente perfecto.

I tried their yuzu infused junmai sake. A tad too sweet, but it worked with their food. Too many goodies to choose from. Pescado, conchas, mixto, camarones, clasico, mosaico, causa, atun al tausi, anticuchos, lomo saltado, ensalada verde al maracuya, pulpo a la parilla. Sushi grade ono, sea urchin, camarones, hiramasa, oyster shooter. Legendary pargo rojo, quinotto de hongos, churrasco, chuleton Don Carlitos.

And of course, tiger's milk, (leche de tigre,)
the juice produced from all that ceviche. Salud!



2009-08-21

>burger-flavored potato chips, Frankfurter chips, bossam kimchi chips...


Filed under:
PEOPLE EAT THIS STUFF?

Well, these potato chips do sound fascinating.

メガバーガー味 (Mega Burger flavor) "American taste" potato chips

Fans of bossam ("wrap" 보쌈) kimchi (김치) may (or may not) appreciate bossam kimchi flavored potato chips. ポッサムキムチ味 ポテトチップス

No shortage of selections:

-pizza potato chips ポテトチップス ピザ味
"Topped with a nice gooey blend of two cheeses, Cheddar and Emmentaler. You can definitely taste the cheese. All flavors of the ingredients (
cheese, tomatoes, salami and spices) balance nicely for an authentic pizza taste."
-seaweed and salt chips ポテトチップス のりしお
-mentaiko (fish roe) chips ポテトチップス 明太子味
-ever popular "consommé" chips ポテトチップス コンソメ
-(white) shrimp flavored chips しろえびポテトチップス
-and of course, "juicy" Frankfurter potato chips. Yes, of course. ジューシーフランクフルト味 ポテトチップス

2009-08-07

>the rabbit who lost his fur 因幡の白うさぎ

因幡の白うさぎ

因幡 = Inaba
白 (shiro) = white
うさぎ (usagi) = rabbit

Read the full story of this white rabbit (shiro-usagi) at instantwisdom.bravepages.com.
A similar version at geocities.co.jp. He is made into a book, "Inaba no Shiro-usagi. The Rabbit who lost his Fur. A favourite story from Japan," by Ralph Friedrich.


***
"Winston is always expecting rabbits to come out of empty hats," he said to Chips Channon.
-from Crete by Antony Beevor
***
RAREBIT, n. A Welsh rabbit, in the speech of the humorless, who point out that it is not a rabbit. To whom it may be solemnly explained that the comestible known as toad-in-a-hole is really not a toad, and that riz-de-veau a la financiere is not the smile of a calf prepared after the recipe of a she banker.
-The Devil's Dictionary, Ambrose Bierce
***
Or you might say, this sweet-bean-paste-filled manju is kawaiiiiii!!!! oishiiiiii!!!!

***
photo on the right by うたのっこ