Review: Momofuku Shōtō, the ambitious new tasting menu restaurant

Review: Momofuku Shōtō, the ambitious new tasting menu restaurant

(Image: Renée Suen)
 
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On the third floor of the new Momofuku complex, discreetly hidden behind a wall of wine cabinets, awaits one of the city’s most deluxe dining experiences. Shōtō, which translates roughly from the Japanese as small, serves a nightly tasting menu of 10 or more plates for $150 (plus $80 for drink pairings). It’s worth the price: 24 lucky diners sit at a black granite bar that surrounds a lab-like open kitchen where a group of cooks work like calm, methodical scientists, presenting each course with a bald summary that belies the complicated methods behind their creations. One night, the treats included a richly buttery fresh-made spaghetti tossed with spears of deep-fried sardines and slivers of nori; a delicately spiced tandoori lobster tail jolted by a dollop of intensely tart lemon purée; and a savoury slab of veal cheek paired with a subtly sweet charred pepper. Each luxurious dish is artfully matched with a drink, such as the chocolatey Bellwood’s Brewery porter that accompanied a dessert of banana ice cream and candied cashew. Reservations required; vegetarian tasting menus available upon request.