Kāwi — New York, USA
The newest addition to Momofuku’s ever-expanding Asian-centric network of restaurants, is Kāwi, a Korean-inflected dining room that’s headed up by executive chef and Korean native Eunjo Park, who was formerly at Momofuku Ko.
Located in the behemoth that is Hudson Yards, Kāwi reflects Park’s experience in fine dining and cooking with Momofuku don David Chang both in its design and offering. Conceived by the Canadian firm Design Agency, which has recurrently collaborated with the group, Kāwi’s dynamic interior muddles materials like dark stained oak, textured glass, glazed green tiles and satin brass finishes. In the bar and restaurant, geometric millwork and a wood trellis ceiling, arranged in a triangular pattern, creates a memorable atmosphere. The mood relaxes somewhat in the 69-seat main dining room, where red leather banquettes, floral wallpaper and an open plan kitchen set a more convivial tone.
In such a spacious, non-traditional setting, diners can enjoy equally refreshing riffs on Korean staples, with several lesser-known additions as well. Expect small plates like white pepper wings and madai snapper tartare on toast, alongside wagyu ragu rice cakes and spicy Cornish hen stew.
Another nod to Asian tradition comes in the form of the restaurant’s private dining room which will open this summer. Fitted with karaoke capabilities, it comes armed with a 14-seat capacity to suit all myriad of occasions. An infinity mirror running the length of the room gives a feeling of spaciousness while a vibrant mural from the artist Alex Proba and a discreet carousel window allows for uninterrupted service. §