Momofuku Noodle Bar, New York City

>> September 30, 2012

As you may have guessed from my radio silence, I have been on holidays travelling to NYC, Mexico and some parts of Europe. I thought it would be nice to have just a couple of posts on the foodie highlights of my trip before returning to regular programming.

When my local NYC friend asked what I wanted to do while visiting, I immediately thought of the food that I wanted to eat.  The list wasn't long - basically I wanted to visit some classic places that I didn't have a chance to visit last time I was there.  I recited to her - Shake Shack, Magnolia's, Serendipty and Momofuku's pork buns.  When she heard 'Momofuku', she immediately bemoaned "Not Momofuku! Everyone who comes here wants to go to Momofuku! I'm so sick of Momofuku!"

Oh to be so lucky.....

Thankfully for me, her obliging sense of duty saw us at Momofuku's noodle bar in the East Village one night - the first Momofuku restaurant opened by David Chang.  It's a casual walk-in restaurant that was filled to the brim when we walked in.  The diners crammed in, sitting shoulder-to-shoulder and there was a line forming out the door.

We were fortunate enough to not have to wait in line - a space for two had just opened up next to a wall and we both squeezed in.  I remember knocking some people with my bag and maybe stepping on someone's foot too as I sucked in my stomach to reach our seats.

 The menu for the day


My friend wasn't particularly hungry but there were a number of items on the menu that caught my eye.  Given that I was on holiday, I ordered everything I wanted!

Heirloom tomato salad - watermelon, crab, avocado (14 USD)


Wow.  What a great start to the meal.  The chunks of plucked crab meat went so well with the variety of heirloom tomatoes.  I polished off the whole thing, marvelling the whole time at the variety of flavours in the dish.

Corn chawanmushi -  pickled chanterelles, arugula, cherry tomato (8 USD)


I'm used to the Japanese style of warm chawan-mushi so I was surprised when this dish arrived at our table.  It was cold and the corn mentioned in the menu description referred to that oil slicked on top.  I can't say that I enjoyed this dish but I ate the whole thing nonetheless (waste not!).

Pork buns (10 USD for two)


The famous Momofuku pork buns!  Secretly to myself, I had been wondering - how good could these be?  Isn't it just roasted pork in a soft bun?

Now that I have experienced the pork bun, I can safely say - they are pretty dam good. 

I can now see what the hype is about.  It is so soft, so gelatinous and so warm that every bite oozes delicious pork and hoisin sauce in your mouth.  So good!

Grilled corn - Benton's bacon, lime, cotija (10 USD)


I liked the idea of this dish but my low spice tolerance meant that I couldn't eat much of it.  My friend gladly took up the challenge and devoured it all.

Momofuku ramen - pork belly, pork shoulder, poached egg (16 USD)


The ramen was good but I think we are spoiled by very good ramen that is readily available in Sydney so Momofuku's ramen didn't blow me away.

After finishing up here,  we ventured to Momofuku's Milk Bar in the East Village which was nothing more than a hole in the wall.  I picked up a cornflake-marshmallow cookie which, between you and me, I had for a sneaky breakfast the next day :-)


Momofuku Noodle Bar on Urbanspoon

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