Dubbed as New York's first modern Korean restaurant, Jung Sik opened a little over two weeks ago in the old Chanterelle space in Tribeca. The concept was put together by four young Koreans and Korean-Americans who met at the C.I.A. in Hyde Park, and the space features white tablecloths, white banquettes, orchids on the tables, and an opening prix fixe that costs $125. So, the aim here seems to be fine dining, but does it work, or is the concept too ambitious? To the early word.
The Great News: From a very enthusiastic Yelper: “SUBLIME! Can you equate Van Gogh's starry night to a dining experience? Definitely not, but at Jung Sik, the emotion came pretty close. From the moment, I ate the trio of amuse bouches, I knew I was in foodie heaven.?? Service - impeccable but not pompous. Ambience - sophisticated. Romantic lighting and none of that funky music so adult conversation is possible. Seating - Luxurious, which is such a welcome treat from the 'ye got to suffer to eat' knee to knee dining trend. Above all - the FOOD! I shall frequent till I have tried everything on the menu. Actually, Chef - just adopt me!? Long time member, first time yelper.” [Yelp]
The Other Great News: Another Yelper only has praise for Jung Sik: “This new arrival on the dining scene is a stunner. The style of cooking here is entirely new to NYC (although David Chang has come closest in some of his creations). They describe Jung Sik as Modern Korean, but the experience here is more like Per Se than a BBQ restaurant in K-town. The food was all superbly executed, delicate, with little explosions of subtle, balanced flavors. I enjoyed the Tasting Menu, but substituted the Sea Urchin for the rice course, and very glad I did, as it was delicious.? The service will certainly please the curmudgeon Alan Richman (who famously lamented the decline in NYC restaurant service last August), because at Jung Sik, the staff is starched, rehearsed, choreographed, and treating everyone like royalty. There is a sommelier dispensing a well-considered wine list. ?A very expensive night out (especially with wine), but it is an impressive restaurant and I highly recommend it.” [Yelp]
The Possible Shill: As spotted by a fellow Eater commenter, this enthusiastic review has been posting on every possible foodie site about the greatness of Jung Sik: “This place is going to be a home run, probably the biggest opening of the year. Went last night, some pictures here. [Eater Comments]
The Relatively Good News: From an Eater reader: “Had dinner there a few days ago. Food was good, service was good, but the menu was NOT worth $125.00 for 5 courses. After the NYers that are interested go, this place will be a hard sell.” [Eater Comments]
More Good News: A Chowhound commenter wishes the service would be as good as the food: “My re-visit to Jungsik: The food is excellent. The best dish I had was the short rib. I did ask for a side order of kimchee, which greatly improved the dish, to my taste. They told me they originally were going to use kimchee, but wanted to keep the dish more "tolerable" to the general public. The halibut is really good too. In general the food was great on both visits. I mean really great. But, for a "fine dining" restaurant, they need a staff (waiters, captains, bus boys) with fine dining experience. Little things, like clean the crumbs off the table, and not with your bare hand. Put the fork in its proper location as far as silverware goes, bring the bread out, toward the beginning of the meal. I can go on and on, basically, a fine dining restaurant, which this is, should give you what you are about to ask for before you ask for it, service, service, service. The food was better here than at Bouley, the service at Bouley was far superior to Jung Sik. Just to compare two Tribeca spots. I hope they get more staff and more experienced than some of those they have. Again, the General Manager is terrific. But perhaps she should send someone she trusts to eat there, and let them report to her which staff members are deficient. If it were a casual place, I would not be so picky about the service.” [Chowhound Comments]
· All Coverage of Jung Sik [~ENY~]