Momofuku’s Ko – A Tough Reservation to Get.
Every time I plan a trip to New York I have to try and go to some exclusive place to make the trip more of an experience and a definite time to remember. For the last 4 years I kept on hearing and reading about Momofuku. Great stories about Chef David Chang and the care and love he shows for each dish he prepares.
So what is Momofuku? It’s the name of his restaurant group, which is comprised of five restaurants:
noodle bar, ssäm bar, ko, milk bar & má pêche
Which one should I try to visit?
My trip is for only 4 days so the planning for a reservation had to be well planned out in advance.
The first four restaurants require no reservation, but I’m guessing there will be some waiting involved.
Ko is a restaurant that seats 12 and is basically a bar where the diners sit and face the kitchen.
After visiting the site and reading the FAQ section I realized that I would have to register to make a reservation on their online reservation system. Highly efficient I have to say.
Then I read further. Lunch is only served Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. It is a 3-hour event. Dinner is served 7 days a week and takes 1 1/2 hours. Reservations for lunch can only be made 2 weeks in advance and dinner one week in advance.
So lunch sounded like it was the meal to hit at Ko and I would have more chances to get a reservation if I started 2 weeks in advance.
The reservation system opens every day at 10am Eastern. Since I live on the West Coast that’s 7am for me.
To prepare to get the reservation I registered on the site and set my alarm for 6:55 am the following morning.
My alarm goes off the next morning and I queue up the site. A countdown clock shows with the amount of minutes and seconds before the reservation system opens up. I felt like I was waiting for the stock market to open.
7am hits and a drop down appears. How many diners? The selection shows 1, 2 & 4.
I select 2 and the screen refreshes to show a grid of dates and times. I see X’s and checkmarks. The check marks are the available times. I only saw one check mark so I clicked on it. A pop up window appears saying sorry someone already snagged that time.
Yikes! This is going to be tough. But it made me really want to get a reservation.
I did this for the next couple of mornings to get ready because I really felt like I could not make a mistake or no food for me.
I then pulled out the calendar to figure out which day I could start to try and get a reservation. It turned out to be a Saturday.
That Saturday I was up really early cooking for a Baby Shower and the alarm on my Iphone goes off. I see the screen and I rush to the computer. Five minutes before the reservation opens up. No problem.
The site comes up. I log in and I’m ready to go.
The clock is ticking down and I continually hit the enter button.
7 AM hits and the screen refreshes.
The magic question appears. How many? I click two.
The grid appears. I click to the next screen to get the first available date two weeks away,
I see Friday, 12:00 PM – Check Mark.
I click it.
Yes! I don’t get the Sorry Pop Up.
Screen refreshes I start screaming yes this is going to happen.
But wait another clock appears showing 180 seconds and it starts ticking down.
What? All of a sudden I feel like McGruber. You have to be kidding me.
The screen states that I have to enter a credit card number to secure the reservation. If I fail to make the reservation my credit card will be charged $150. I have 24 hours before my reservation to cancel.
Credit card? Where’s my credit card? I start yelling. Of course I can’t find my wallet with my credit cards. Get me a credit card I yell.. I need a credit card. My wife is looking freaked out at me saying what’s your problem. I yell credit card! Where’s your credit card? “In my purse!” she yells. I dive into the purse and luckily I find the magic card.
I rush back to the computer and this only took me 45 seconds.
I quickly and nimbly type in the credit card information like I’m saving the world if I miskey just one digit.
I click submit and the screen refreshes.
The confirmation screen shows and I am informed my credit card has been accepted. An email confirmation is on its way.
I scramble to get my email up and there it is.
Willy Wonka’s magic ticket. The email says print this up and bring it with you.
Print button hit. Print out generated.
Next stop New York City and Momofuku’s Ko.
Now I need to go out and buy the cookbook so I can prepare for the feast.