August 6, 2021

Jungsik is an outstanding restaurant, though it lacked...something. Service was outstanding and without error. The environment was excellent and matched the food experience they wanted you to have. The dishes were excellent. What I missed was any "wow" factor. Nothing made me giggle, or take a beat to slowly dwell on the food I was enjoying.

The best bites were standards - wagyu and black truffle, scallops and beets, toro and caviar. Sounds strange to complain about these dishes...but they can be found elsewhere. Chef's Table at Brooklyn Fare had a few almost identical dishes - far and away better than these. (Even the waiter admitted "Chef's Table is the best restaurant in the city, for sure.")

Most of the wines were domestic (American), which I found to be an interesting call. (Other than Napa, we're not known for wine that can compete on the world stage.) They also reused an ingredient (crispy quinoa - found in the toro/caviar dish, then again in the uni add-on) - a faux pas for a restaurant of this caliber. The uni dish was overly generous, the result of which was a diminished enjoyment of the rest of the meal - we were just too full.

Excellent but not outstanding. Very well done but not inspired. With the other stellar options in NYC (such as Brooklyn Fare and Atera), I won't rush back.

Ban chan (Korean meal starter, small bites). Individual photos/descriptions follow.
Wagyu beef tartare, white truffle, brioche
Egg custard, seaweed
Striped jack tartlet
Crispy shrimp dumpling, honey, yogurt sauce
Wheat twill, yuza and corn puree
Caviar, tuna belly, crispy quinoa
Hokkaido sea scallops, roasted beets, asparagus, brown butter dashi
Hiding underneath. Scallops and brown butter are a new combination for me. And man did it work. A really subtle and stellar dish.
Braised octopus served crispy, gochijong aioli. Their signature dish. Got better with each bite
Uni (Sea urchin), seaweed rice, crispy quinoa. Nice dish. The seaweed rice was terrific and a great compliment. The dish was too big though. Very filling and negatively affected the rest of the meal.
Red snapper (braised, then a hot oil poured over to crisp the skin and scales, which are left on) over congu (soybean) sauce, heirloom tomatoes. The wine pairing with this dish was phenomenal - a sour-ish wine from Oregon which played against the earthy soybean sauce.
Tuna Kim bop, crispy seaweed, truffle rice, kimchi avacado, mustard, white truffle
Wagyu shoulder, mushroom rice. A play on Korean BBQ
The cook on the shoulder was so incredibly perfect.
Strawberry salad, yuzu sorbet, mint flower
Coffee ice cream, chocolate hazelnut crumble, paired with...
A Mini banana, which was actually a white chocolate, banana baileys cake made to look like a banana.
What the "banana" actually was.
Honey sesame cake, date macaroon, yuzu bon bon


What do you think? I'd love to hear from you.

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Replying to Steven Smith