Unfortunately, no photos were allowed at the restaurant. I suppose that policy was set up to retain the cloud of ‘mystery’ and ‘exclusiveness’ surrounding mKo, that would only match up to the ‘maddening’ reservation system. Fortunately, they did not mind my side note-taking on a little business card! How can I resist documenting the experience when the fine courses are served with such immaculate pairings and detailed precision!
Here’s a recount of each of the 14 courses to the best of my note-taking skills:
Amuse Bouche #1: Crunchy Pork Rind slices seasoned with Togarashi (Japanese 7-spice chili pepper) served with Black pepper biscuit marinated with Mirin sauce - so so delicious!!
Amuse Bouche #2: Bite slice of seared Lamb with Green Pea Puree
Amuse Bouche #3: Lobster Salad served in a spoon, with Shiseido Mushrooms
Appetizer #1: Long Island Fluke with Buttermilk Cream Sauce, topped with Poppy Seeds and Chives
Appetizer #2: Tataki Mackerel Sashimi with Mustard Oil and Sprouts
Appetizer #3: Oxtail Consummate – Pulled Oxtail Wonton in oxtail broth, with Caramelized Onion Jam, Bean Sprouts, and Thai Basil
Entree #1: Hillcrest Poached Egg with Black Caviar, sous-vide onions, served with a side of Fingerling Potato Chips and Sweet Potato Vinegar - one of my favorite dishes
Entree #2: Snail Sausage with Shavings of Italian Black Truffle, over a bed of Hand-torn Pasta, accompanied by Pecorino and Crispy Chicken Skin - interesting experience; I loved it!
Entree #3: Almond Crusted Skate, Roasted Cauliflower, in an Almond Milk Foam with Yuzu and Crunchy Olives - best skate I've ever had!
Entree #4: Generous shavings of Foie Gras from the Hudson Valley with crunchy Pine Nut Brittle and Riesling Gelatins and Lychee - The foie gras shavings melted in my mouth and stole the show! The sweetness of the lychee perfectly balanced the fatiness of the duck liver. Later, I found out that Wylie Dufresne helped conceptualize the dish!
Entree #5: Roasted Duck Breast from California, with a side of Chinese Mustard Greens, 2 little Tokyo Turnips topped with Pumpernickel Crumbs
Amuse Bouche #4: Duck Pate of the liver, heart and legs. Topped with Pistachio bits
Palate Cleanser: Spiced White Wine Sorbet with Elderflower Syrup over Asian Pears - perfect dish!
Dessert: Root Beer Ice Cream on one side. Pretzel Panna Cotta on the other, with Caraway Powder.
What makes mKo different: Its unique courses are very inventive and deliciously flavorful. Although we had 14 courses, I didn’t feel overly stuffed when I left. The courses were well-balanced and I felt like I was taken through one of the highest forms of culinary experience; it was artistically creative, delightfully tasty and craftily designed to imprint a wonderful memory in your mind. The food at mKo exceeded my expectations.
Pros: Highly creative courses, immaculate pairings
Cons: Reservation system, exorbidant price