It’s not every day I eat sea urchin at home, but this was no ordinary day, nor urchin, nor home: this was SPORK.
SPORK is an underground dining club that brings fascinating chefs and fascinating company together in undisclosed private residences. I would have lusted after an invitation if I had known about it; but I was blissfully unaware of this super-hip phenomenon until Peter asked me if I’d like to tag along. If!
Besides what might be called highly-marketed faux secrecy, the big draw (for chefs and eaters alike) is inventive cuisine that escapes the confines of restaurant menus. I’m not allowed to whisper the name of the guest chef who dreamt up and executed this meal for us, but suffice it to say: sushi luminary, pushing the envelope with five Korean-influenced dishes for a rapt and rapturous audience. And if you know your hamachi, you’ll know who I’m talking about.
The first was the uni above– reef-sweet and ocean-fresh, roeing its boat across a lake of tofu foam and tapioca black pearls. Tofu foam? Mild-mannered and demure (like the rice that might usually balance uni) cool, and refreshing.
It was served with a “rye ricket” followed by a sake and green tea martini.
Next up: Hamachi, with kiware radish sprouts, crispy rice and heart of palm:
Followed by a scallop and a quail egg on a nest of cold somen noodles and pickled watermelon. This dish came with the night’s most interesting and most sensational cocktail: a sangria of port, peach liqueur, grapefruit sections….and shichimi, the Japanese seven-pepper hot.
The last course before dessert was pork belly, with kombucha.
…and we finished the night with barley ice cream, diced Korean melon, and sesame crunch.
It was a super-fun meal. Old friends and new enjoyed super-suave service, gracious hospitality, and the fantastic company of a Congresswoman, several State/City officials, University faculty, food intelligentsia, and other young and beautiful people. Fingers crossed for a repeat invitation and a second chance to taste from the tines of the SPORK!