Part 1 covered the early courses of the Momofuku Lab experience in the San Francisco Bay Area (click to read). This post covers the rest of the courses provided by Chef David Chang and crew at the Copain Winery’s Supper Club series, served at their winery’s tasting room just outside Healdsburg.
This is one of Chef Chang’s signature dishes that we also ate at Ko: the soft-boiled egg served with caviar, potato chips on an onion soubise and finished with purple sweet potato vinegar. He introduced it in 2008 when Ko first opened as an egg dish that also pays homage to Chefs Alain Passard, Jean-George Vongrichten and Thomas Keller for their egg and caviar preparation. With his version, the base is the perfect soft boiled egg, the Japanese “omsen tamago:”
Click here to read more about how Chef Chang came up with this signature dish or to see the recipe. The egg whites were cooked all the way through while the runny yolk served as a sauce for the luxurious caviar. The tiny potato chips made from fingerling potatoes added some crunch and served as a good vehicle for doling out the roe a few bits at a time:
The next dish featured a fusion of Italian and Asian flavors by taking cavatelli pasta and using a dairy-free sauce made with miso from aged chick peas (garbanzo beans). Ham shavings added some salt while the very thin slice of raw acorn squash added a slight sweetness and texture to the dish:
Petrale sole was served with a green peppercorn beurre blanc sauce. The yellow mustard flowers added a different spice element to the perfectly cooked fish. The 2009 Copain Brosseau Chardonnay was a nice pairing to go with the butter and cream based sauce:
Deep fried shortribs, another dish featured at Ko, came in a different variation. As one of the recipes printed in his very interesting Momofuku cookbook, the shortribs are placed in a sous-vide water bath for 48 hours prior to finishing in the deep fryer. The difference with this version was that the short ribs were deep fried with the bone. The resulting beef was perfectly crusted, very tender and full of flavor:
To pair with the beef, 2010 Copain Baker Ranch Syrah and a 2005 Allemand “Les Chaillots” Cornas from the Northern Rhone in France were poured into the burgundy stems. All wines we had thus far were excellent, but the Cornas was spectacular. In addition, a bowl of mixed greens were presented as a ssäm salad. The bitterness of some of the escarole served was a refreshing contrast to the fatty richness of the beef:
Everyone was starting to get pretty full at this point of the meal, and the beef at our table was probably only 2/3 finished. Chef Chang and his crew wanted to make sure diners did not leave hungry, so they also provided a slow roasted pork shoulder ‘just in case.’ Hailed as a “miracle” by NY Times, this roast is the foundation for Bo Ssäm where regular accompaniments of lettuce wraps, kimchi and gochujang would normally complete the dish:
We really had to try a bite and were awfully glad that we did. The pulled pork was tender, juicy and super tasty:
No matter how full we were at this point, we did make room for another signature Ko dish: shaved frozen foie gras with lychee and pine nut brittle. They were saving the 2008 Bechtold Sussenberg Riesling to pair with this dish; unfortunately, none ever made it to our table. The sweetness of the lychee berries paired really well with the goose liver delicacy. The Californians were quite happy to feast on this banned dish, and we thank Chef Chang for bringing us this luxurious treat:
Milk Bar was fairly represented in the white tea panna cotta served with pomegranate juice and seeds. It was a refreshing dessert that was just the right size:
The last bite was amazake made with fermented rice presented with persimmon and bits of clementine tangerines:
Chef Chang came around with a foam canister filled with the fermented rice amazake and “refilled” our dessert:
At the end of dinner service, every couple was given a gift bag filled with the latest Chinatown issue of the Lucky Peach (Momufuku in Japanese). As subscribers, we highly recommend getting a subscription to this awesome food journal — Harold McGee’s recipe for the amazake is available in this issue. We also got 3 amazing cookies from the Milk Bar: corn, compost and chocolate and chocolate:
As great as Copain wines are, it was also a pleasant surprise that they brought in other wines from different producers to pair with the dishes. It was a treat to have a little bit of New York come to the San Francisco Bay Area. We really appreciate the effort that Copain Winery, David Chang with his Momofuku Lab crew, and Robert Bohr and his staff put into this amazing once in a lifetime experience for us.
Hollie Schulze did a great job organizing the Copain Supper Club series, and she indicated that there would be more coming up over the next year so. We may just see you at some of the upcoming dinners.