Jungsik, NYC 2

December 17, 2013

On December 5, 2013, Linda and I went to Jungsik for dinner in celebration of our wedding anniversary. Since my first visit to Jungsik in April, 2012, it had received a second Michelin star and so we were expecting a lot. We were seated at a nice corner table with a view down the simply decorated dining room towards the bar and the Christmas tree by the entry.
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We ordered glasses of sparkling wine: Billecart-Salmon for Linda and Schramsburg Blanc de Blancs for me. One side of the menu is quite complicated with a grid pattern of dishes and different prices. The other side is a Tasting Menu, which we ordered. After an extensive discussion with our helpful and efficient waitress on the question of spiciness, she recommended one substitution. She also said she would alert the kitchen to tone down the hot pepper in Linda’s dishes, which was sometimes done. The menu descriptions were quite simple, but the garnishes on most of the dishes were quite complicated. They were described to us as they were served, but, of course, I couldn’t record it and so the descriptions below will leave out many things. Fortunately the cuisine usually let the main ingredient stand out so you will have a good idea of what the dishes were all about.

We chose a bottle of 2008 Morgan Double L Vineyard(Santa Lucia Highlands) Pinot Noir from the large wine list.
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This had good pinot noir flavor and went well with the varied cuisine.

There were several amuse-gueules: a mango-lime granità, a crispy barbecue chicken ball, a smoked eel mousse cigar and a little mussel on a wafer.
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Then there was a bowl of chicken soup with kimchee on top.
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The first menu course was
Cobia Tartare
코비아
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Raw, fresh cobia, a flavorful fish, had been diced and mixed with diced Asian Pear. The round was nicely decorated with herbs and flowers. This dish was very good and served as a palate cleanser after the somewhat spicy amuse-gueules. 
 

Fried Oyster
anchovy aïoli
굴튀김

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Three oysters had been coated with squid ink soaked bread crumbs and deep fried. The oyster flavor popped out when one crunched into them. The pickled vegetables went well. 

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Octopus
ssamjang aïoli
된장문어

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The octopus had been braised and then charred; it was still tender. Underneath was an aïoli flavored with ssamjang, a traditional Korean sauce based on soybean paste.

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Crispy Red Snapper
Preserved squid
바삭도미

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The snapper had been cooked by having hot oil poured on the skin, raising the scales. The broth would have gone well if the chef had shown some restraint with the jalapeños.

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The next course on the tasting menu was supposed to be
Hae jang
Pork Belly
Spicy broth
해장
but we asked for a substitution as it was described as very spicy. Instead we had
Truffle Bolgogi
Wagyu Bolgogi, Truffle Rice

트러플불고기

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Slices of marinated and grilled wagyu beef were served on shredded lettuce and topped with crispy rice. Truffle flavor was not evident, but the dish was good.

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At this point the tray with three breads was passed and butter put on the table. .

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Mushrooms
Chanterelle, Shiitake
Truffle aioli
모듬버섯
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The mushrooms had lovely flavors, enhanced by their garnishes. There were king oyster mushrooms, a big grilled shiitake cap and chanterelles, which seemed appropriate as before Jungsik, this was the famous restaurant Chanterelle.

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Jangjorim
계란장조림

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The poached egg was in a beef broth flavored with ginger and too much soy sauce, but then I read that soy sauce is what jorim dishes are all about. Nonetheless, I enjoyed this.
 

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Jungsik Steak Ver.2
정식스테이크 2

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A piece of excellent wagyu beef had been cooked sous vide and then charred on the outside. It was served with rounds of rainbow carrots and other vegetables. A Korean barbecue steak sauce was under the beef. Very good.  

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The pre-dessert was
Green Apple Sorbet

청사과

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My dessert was
Jang dok
장독

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One Chocolate Mousse was flavored with Earl Grey, the other with Green Tea. The Chocolate Cake Crumble underneath added needed crunchy texture and the substance of dark chocolate. Very good.

Linda’s dessert was
Sweet potato tart
Rum Raisin
Milk Sherbert
고구마타르트

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She thought that this lacked interest.

We were offered glasses of a well-aged Alsatian late-harvest Gewürztraminer to go with our desserts.

We were also offered an extra dessert to share.
Plum
Lychee-Rose Mousse
Sable Crumble
자두
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Good fruit flavors.

This was followed by a small corn crème brûlée topped with amaranth seeds, which added nicely to the crisp of the crust.
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We enjoyed the first plate of mignardises to finish up and had the chocolates boxed up to have with our coffee the next morning.
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The meal was frustrating at its start due to some overspicing, but settled into very good, well composed dishes that made us glad we had come. The service and pace were always very good. The noise level was low even though the restaurant was full this evening. 

http://jungsik.kr/#hello

To see my blogpost on my meal at Jungsik in April 2012 click here.

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