A card is set down in front of you before each new course arrives at Atomix, the tasting-menu restaurant in Murray Hill run by Junghyun Park and his wife, Jeungeun. Each is printed with a boldface transliteration of a Korean word under an abstract design of geometric shapes and lines. They look like flashcards from a school run by progressive graphic designers.
Atomix,当每道菜被端上来前,都会有一张卡片放在你面前。Atomix是默里山的一家品尝菜单餐厅,由朴正炫(Junghyun Park,音)及妻子祯恩(Jeungeun,音)开办。每张卡片都印着一个粗体的韩文字字母转写,上方是抽象的形状线条设计。它们看起来就像是一个进步派平面设计师掌管的学校的教学卡片。
“Your first course is guk, which means soup,” a server will say.
“您的第一道菜是‘guk’,也就是汤,”一位服务生会这么说。
“This card is for hwe, Korean for raw.”
“这张卡是‘hwe’的,韩语里生食的意思。”
“Jorim is next. Jorim means it’s been braised.”
“下一道是‘Jorim’。‘Jorim’的意思是这道菜经过炖煮。”
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This sounds as if it would get old, but it doesn’t. Very early on, you learn that on the other side of these vocabulary exercises lie dishes of wonderful intricacy, sophistication and beauty. One after another, each of the 10 courses in the $175 meal opens up new ideas about Korean cuisine and culture. In the Atomix pedagogical method, instruction is followed closely by reward. (While we are working on vocabulary: The restaurant’s name is pronounced, somewhat counterintuitively, a-toe-mix.)
听上去好像慢慢会变得无聊起来,但并不会。一开始,你会得知,在这些词汇练习的另一边,放着工序复杂、卖相精美的佳肴。这个套菜有10道菜,一共175美元,一道道菜接着上来,会为你打开关于韩国菜和韩国文化的新想法。在Atomix的教学方式里,指令之后紧接着就有奖励。(既然我们在说词汇:餐馆名称的发音有些反直觉:a-toe-mix。)
Many of the rewards are the kind you eat, of course. Guk-which-means-soup is a shimmering broth that Mr. Park, the chef, makes from fermented tomatoes and kelp; chilled and poured over scallop slices layered between slivers of green tomato that have been marinated in Korean fig vinegar, the broth has an electrifying sweet-sour balance.
当然,其中许多奖励都是能吃的那种。“意思是汤的guk”是一道泛着光的汤,是大厨朴正炫用经过发酵的番茄和海带做出来的。这道汤经过冷却,撒上了扇贝片。扇贝点缀在经过韩国无花果醋腌制过的绿番茄块中,有了一种令人为之一振的酸甜平衡。
Atomix的就餐室,笔直的线条和天然材料,让人想起韩国的禅宗传统。
Atomix的就餐室,笔直的线条和天然材料,让人想起韩国的禅宗传统。 Daniel Krieger for The New York Times
The dish may not scream “Korean cuisine,” but the next one does. This is hwe — Korean for raw, you’ll recall, and also the term for Korean-style sashimi. The fish is striped jack, brushed with plum vinegar sauce. Slices of it are folded around a mild fermented chile, a few drops of sesame oil and bits of kimchi made from cabbage and ramps. Sitting over each slice of jack is a crisp square of gim, which the Japanese call nori. Pinch some fish inside the gim and eat it, and the flavors that unspool are some of those that are brought to the table with Korean sashimi, but they’re put together with a harmony that’s hard to achieve when you swab them yourself under the influence of a few glasses of soju.
这道菜可能无法让人一下子就认出它是“韩国菜”,但下一道可以。这道菜是“hwe”,你会想起来——韩语里“生食”的意思,它也是韩式刺身的叫法。选用的鱼是条纹鲹,刷上了梅子醋酱汁。鱼生卷着经过略微发酵的红辣椒,几滴芝麻油还有一点点泡菜。泡菜是用大白菜和熊葱做成的。每片条纹鲹上都放着一片“gim”(海苔),日本人的叫法是“nori”。将鱼片放在海苔里吃,在口中蔓延开来的一些味道是韩国鱼生特有的,但在几杯烧酒的作用下,它们在一起达到了某种难以企及的和谐。
Inspired by a poem from the Choson era, Mr. Park summoned an entirely different set of flavors for the hwe on Atomix’s opening menu, which ran from late May to early September. Then, the fish was sea bream, firm and chewy, marinated overnight with ginger in a magnificently good tangerine vinegar from the island of Jeju. Eaten with sea urchin, plain spinach, sparkling shards of jelly made from pale young soy sauce, and Chinese-mustard leaves fermented in some wonderful way, it was so deeply harmonic I wouldn’t have minded if Mr. Park had served it over and over for the rest of the meal.
受到高丽时期一首诗的启发,朴正炫在Atomix的开业菜单上,为鱼生带来了完全不同的一组风味,这套菜单将从五月底一直持续到九月初。然后上来的一道鱼是海鲷,肉质紧实、有嚼劲,用济州岛一种非常出色的橘子醋和姜一起腌了一夜。配着海胆、菠菜、用清淡的酱油做的胶冻、经过发酵的美味芥菜叶一起吃。这道菜的口味搭配如此得当,如果朴正炫在这顿饭剩下的时间里一直不断上这道菜,我是不会介意的。
Centuries before it became the fashion among American chefs, fermentation was a pillar of Korean cuisine. Atomix exploits it in all kinds of ways. Fermentation bends a mix of juices from Korean pears, green apples and pineapple toward a cidery direction that makes it a thrilling marinade, braising liquid and sauce for exquisitely rich Wagyu strip loin. It’s the foundation for an array of vinegars you won’t find on the average table in Koreatown: cherry blossom, persimmon, mugwort, birch. And, of course, fermentation is behind the restaurant’s arsenal of pickled vegetables, the most interesting of which may be the tart brussels sprouts that Mr. Park serves in banchan format alongside roast duck with a mole sauce that could pass muster in Mexico if Mr. Park did not up the funk level with gochujang.
早在美国厨师开始流行使用发酵几个世纪前,它就已经是韩国菜的核心了。Atomix用各种方式利用它。发酵使韩国梨、青苹果和菠萝的混合果汁变得像苹果酒的风味,这也让它成为了激动人心的腌泡汁、炖汁,以及口感精妙、丰富的前腰脊和牛的酱汁。它是各种醋的基础,而你不会在韩国城的普通饭桌上找到这些醋:樱花醋、柿醋、艾蒿醋、桦醋。当然了,这家餐馆提供的众多腌制蔬菜的背后也有发酵,其中最为有意思的,要数酸孢子甘蓝了,朴正炫会用小菜的形式将它配着烤鸭端给客人,这道菜还配有一种墨西哥式调味酱,如果朴正炫没有用韩式辣椒酱增添其中的趣味的话,当作墨西哥菜也是够格的。
Some of these ingredients were fermented or otherwise preserved in South Korea. Many more were put up for storage at Atoboy, the Parks’ other restaurant, over the past year or more as the Parks prepared to open Atomix.
这些配料有些是在韩国发酵或腌制的。更多的是在朴准备开Atomix的过去一年或更久的时间里,储存在朴的另一家餐厅Atoboy
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Atoboy’s food is woven around traditional banchan dishes, and while Mr. Park gives himself room to play, the cooking there stays true to the fairly simple origins of banchan. His tasting menus at Atomix make a quantum leap in complexity. It’s like seeing the guy who strums the 12-string guitar on the L platform pick up a conductor’s baton and lead an orchestra through a Mahler symphony. On the back of Atomix’s flashcards he lists the components of each dish, and each of their ingredients — around 20 on average, very few of them ordinary and none of them out of place. Nothing at Atomix tastes confused or overburdened.
Atoboy的食物围绕传统的伴菜(banchan),虽然朴给自己留有创意空间,但这里的烹饪仍忠实于伴菜相当简单的原样。他在Atomix的品尝菜单在复杂性上有巨大突破。这就像是看见一个在L站台弹着12弦吉他的家伙拿起一根指挥棒,带领乐队奏完一部马勒交响乐。Atomix菜单卡的反面列出了菜品的组成部分,以及它们各自涉及的配料——平均每道菜约20种,很少有常见的食材,但也没有过分的东西。Atomix没有什么菜尝起来令人困惑或负担过重。
The dishes are even more elaborate than those at Jungsik, the rarefied Korean-inspired restaurant downtown where Mr. Park was the chef de cuisine before he and his wife struck out on their own. And while Jungsik seems determined to stuff Korean flavors into an outdated French formality, Atomix is warm, contemporary and Korean at just about every turn.
这里的菜甚至比Jungsik的更精细,两夫妇自己开餐馆之前曾是市中心这家韩风小众餐厅的主厨。虽然贞铉似乎是下定决心要把韩国风味融入过时的法国式样,但Atomix在几乎每一个节点上都温暖、现代、充满韩国风情。
品尝菜单以这样的小菜开始,像贻贝贝壳上盛放的这道迷你挞。
品尝菜单以这样的小菜开始,像贻贝贝壳上盛放的这道迷你挞。 Daniel Krieger for The New York Times
The Parks, who were raised in South Korea, hired a Seoul architecture firm, Studio Writers, to remake two floors of a secretive-looking townhouse on East 30th Street. Upstairs is a small bar where you can slither into a pale-leather booth to idle over smartly conceived snacks like soy-marinated scallop jerky; beef tartare, mixed with red and black pepper, and under a snowfall of pecorino; or fried wings stuffed with fried rice and dusted with ground Sichuan peppercorns.
朴一家在韩国长大,他们雇了首尔的Studio Writers建筑设计公司,对东30街一处隐蔽的联排别的其中两层进行了翻建。楼上是个小酒吧,你可以在那里滑入浅色的皮质卡座,悠闲地品尝巧妙构思的小点心,如腌豆扇贝牛肉干;鞑靼牛肉,拌入红黑胡椒,配上落雪一样的佩克利诺干酪末;或里面填充着炒饭的炸鸡翅,撒着花椒碎。
Stairs descend to a bright, skylit lounge of upholstered benches where the tasting menu kicks off with a couple of hors d’oeuvres and drinks. The idea must be for you to leave the shuffle of Manhattan behind in stages, but I always spent my few minutes in this way station eyeing the comfortable, dark, wood-clad den a few steps away where the rest of the meal is served at a 14-seat counter.
楼梯向下延伸至一间带天窗的明亮休息厅,配有软垫凳子,这里的品尝菜单从两道冷盘和饮料开始。此处的想法肯定是让你逐步抛开曼哈顿的躁动,但我总会花几分钟在这边驻足观看几步开外那舒适、幽暗的木贴面小屋,其余部分的餐食就是在那里的14座餐台享用的。
The natural materials and simple lines in the tasting room seem to bow toward Korea’s long Zen tradition, and a kind of purposeful calm reigns there. Servers and cooks all wear flowing, boat-neck shirts in a shimmering pewter color that gives them a slight science-fiction look; they are the work of a Korean-born New York designer, Sungho Ahn.
品尝间的天然材料和简洁的线条似乎是致敬韩国悠久的禅宗传统,这里因而也有一种着意打造的宁静。服务生和厨师一律穿着有流动感的船领衬衫,呈微亮的青灰色,带有一丝科幻感;服装是韩国出生的纽约设计师安承浩(Sungho Ahn)的作品。
Ms. Park, who goes by Ellia, glides behind the counter, smiling and holding out a cloth case to offer a pair of the Korean-made chopsticks she collects. They’re beautiful objects, and so are the handmade plates and bowls that begin to file out of the kitchen, each made by a potter or glass worker or wood carver in South Korea. These artisans are identified on the menu cards, whose abstract designs are the work of a South Korean artist.
英文名Ellia的朴夫人轻轻走到餐台后面,笑着拿出一个布套,奉上一双她收藏的韩国制筷子。它们是些美丽尤物,开始从厨房鱼贯而出的手工盘碗亦是如此,件件都是由韩国的陶匠、玻璃工匠或木匠制作而成。这些工艺品菜单卡上有标示,其抽象设计出自一位韩国艺术家之手。
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Tasting menus can be arid and sterile when a chef doesn’t have much to say. The format comes to life when a restaurant is overflowing with ideas, like Atomix. The way the Parks put Korean culture in the foreground recalls the early days of the Four Seasons, which moved beyond European models of formal dining by hiring an American architect and American industrial designers to go along with the American ingredients and even American wines.
如果厨师没太多要表达,那么品尝菜单可能会变得干瘪乏味。而在Atomix这样充溢着创意的餐厅,这一形式就有了生命力。朴氏夫妇将韩国文化放在突出位置的方式,让人想起早年间的四季酒店,当时酒店雇了美国建筑设计师和工业设计师,搭配美国的食材甚至美国的葡萄酒,以超越欧洲正式餐饮的模式。
The Four Seasons had a Swiss chef, though. Atomix is more thorough: It has the Parks.
不过四季酒店当时用的是瑞士厨师。Atomix更纯粹:他们有朴氏夫妇。