For a long time, I’ve been eying up the Korean restaurant Jungsik in Tribeca, but it wasn’t until Poul was here last month, that I finally had someone, who wanted to join me. Jungsik is a modern Korean restaurant and they describe the cuisine as New Korean. If you look carefully, you’ll notice the Korean accents, but the overall impression is international. Apparently, that’s a recipe for success, because since 2014, Jungsik has managed to hold onto its two Michelin stars.
One of the things I’m always looking forward to when dining at traditional Korean restaurants, are the different side dishes, banchan, which are served along with the meal. It can be anything, but you’ll typically find a selection of pickled vegetables and kimchi. Though at Jungsik, there was no kimchi in sight and the gorgeous-looking banchan we had, were everything else than traditional. After the impressive intro, here’s what followed:
Yellowtail heirloom tomato sesame leaf sorbet
A nice dish without too much hullabaloo. A gentle warm up for the other dishes to come.
Urchin seaweed rice crispy quinoa/foie gras mandoo in wagyu broth
There’s only one thing Poul can’t eat, and that’s sea urchin, so for the second course, he had the foie gras mandoo. The waiter poured hot broth over the mandoo at the table, so we could watch the color of the beef change from red to light brown.
I had the sea urchin, and it was exquisite. Beautifully presented and very, very tasty. These two dishes were the best we had that evening.
Black cod with red pepper soy and bamboo shot
This was the only dish we couldn’t agree on. While I thought it was fabulous, like a spicy version of Nobu’s famous miso black cod, Poul wasn’t convinced. We could hear that the neighboring table was having the same discussion about the controversial cod.
The duck had been allowed to age for 2 weeks, and the result was amazing. Both Poul and I thought that the flavor was like Faroese skærpekød, and we loved it.
NY-Seoul ver. 2 Brown rice choux pecan/Yuja tart citrus marmalade and yuja sorbet
While Poul was the lucky winner of a plate full of chocolatey stuff, I was left with the consolation prize in the form of yuja sorbet. Yuja is the Korean name for the citrus fruit, which some of you might know as yuzu, which is the Japanese name for it. It’s not that the yuja dessert wasn’t good. It’s just that when there’s chocolate on the table, chocolate always wins.
The previous nights had been quite boozy, so we both felt we needed a non-alcoholic evening. At Jungsik, I therefore had a Yuja Spritzer mocktail, while Poul was convinced to try the pinot noir grape juice, which, according to the staff, was supposed to be outstanding. Though to Poul, it didn’t taste like anything else than ordinary grape juice, and 13USD felt slightly like a rip-off. However, we didn’t say anything, because even though 13USDmight be steep for a glass of grape juice, it’s still a fair price for a drink at a 2 Michelin-starred establishment (at Noma, the juice pairing was 700DKK), but here’s what happened: I don’t know how, but the staff had noticed that Poul wasn’t impressed with the grape juice, so when the bill came, they explained that they hadn’t charged us for the juice. Now that’s star quality.
Jungsik’s Seasonal Menu (125USD) consists of 5 dishes + little surprises along the way.
Jungsik, 2 Harrison Street (between Hudson St & Staple St), Tribeca, New York