Scores: 2 M*/ 2 NYT
Jungsik is a French/ Korean restaurant in TriBeCa. It had been awarded its second Michelin star shortly before our visit, which is a great achievement after only being open for 2 years. It is the sister restaurant of one in Seoul. The restaurant itself is pretty cool, having a very modern style. Beware of the Japanese toilets in the bathrooms though, they look slightly intimidating. There was a nice selection of cocktails available, some with an Asian twist. A selection of five canapés started the meal; these included a crispy fried chicken bit which was very good, a ‘cigar with eel moose and a mango lime granita.
There was a long tasting menu available or an a la carte option of which one could make up to a 5 course dinner as the dishes were available in two different sizes. The five possible courses were appetiser, rice or noodle dish, fish, meat and dessert. One starter was fantastic- octopus with ssamjang aioli ($18), the octopus had been braised then slightly grilled and thus had a great texture. It had also been well marinated and had a spicy kick to it, the aioli was a good accompaniment. Bibim with basil sorbet was basically a deconstructed calabrese salad ($15) and was good but nothing special.
Crispy pork belly dwenjang rice ($18) was good, consisting of well-cooked fatty pork on a bed of rice topped with fragrant herbs. Pork belly in spicy broth ($18) was even better; here the broth was very tasty with a depth of flavour.
Thai lobster with a Tom yum beurre blanc ($29) was a very good fish course, this had several large pieces of well-prepared lobster in a sauce that had a slight buttery edge, adding richness, but had real South East Asian flavours. Halibut with seaweed powder and anchovy broth ($27) was also very good indeed, the fish was cooked perfectly and the broth was salty and spicy but balanced.
A meat course of grilled wagyu with sesame kimchi (large- $38) was excellent, the meat was perfectly medium rare and had a very good marbling. The kimchi flavours went well with it as well, adding sweet, sour and spice.
We decided to skip dessert but three types of petite fours were served- chocolate crispy rice, yuzu macrons and green tea madeleines; all of these were good. The service was professional throughout and the wine advice was pretty good. This meal was a very good experience overall proving for the second time this trip that east/ west fusion food can be exceptional. If you fancy some fine dining that is a bit different then this is a good destination.