foodie bits: how to get into momofuku ko
David Chang’s Momofuku Ko is arguably one of the best restaurants in the country. It also has the most democratic reservation system. Nobody here has preferential treatment. Everyone is on equal footing when it comes to procuring one of 12 seats at the bar.
So how does their reservation system work? Everything is done online, so you are at the mercy of your internet connection and all who want a reservation are on equal footing, based on how their browser quickly refreshes. Go to their website and sign up for an account. Once you’ve open an account, you are ready to try for the reservation.
There is a very short timeline and reservations open up six days before the day you want. It’s especially difficult for us who live in the West Coast who want to eat there, because we can’t always fly to New York each time we get a reservation at Momofuku Ko.
At any rate, six days before your intended date, go to the Momofuku reservation site at 9:56am ET. It will show you Momofuku’s internal clock. Momofuku opens up the reservations at exactly 10:00am according to its internal clock on a revolving 7-day period, but because you are at the mercy of their clock, you need to stand by at the site at least 4 minutes ahead. At around 9:58am, start clicking on the “press here” button. This will give you practice until the site actually opens up. It will not advance to the next screen until they open up the reservation.
Once you finally get in, you need to immediately decide on either lunch or dinner and the number of people in your party. You can choose between 1, 2 or 4, that’s it! The next screen is the specific time you want. A “check” means it’s available, an “X” means it’s booked. I find that picking either 6:50pm or 10:00pm increases your chances tremendously. Remember that you are competing heavily with other people who are trying to get reservations as well. In fact, while I was making the screen shots for this blog, I was able to get a reservation for 2 at 6:50pm, but had to decline it.
That pretty much is all the knowledge I can impart on you. It just takes perseverance and patience. Once you get a reservation, however, the experience is well worth the effort. Dinner at Momofuku Ko is something you won’t soon forget, even though it is all in memory since they do not allow pictures!