Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Momofuku Noodle Bar = Momofukin Good Eats
171 1st Avenue
New York, NY 10003
Intrigued by the constant chatter of ramen and delicious pork buns emanating off of its funny name, I’ve wanted to try Momofuku Noodle bar for some time. This week I finally got the chance to put on my hungry hipster face and sit down to lunch along the casual wooden bar of the popular East Village Asian fusion eatery.
Momofuku Noodle bar is the first of Chef David Chang’s restaurant realm in the East Village, made up of Ssäm Bar, Bakery and Milk Bar, Má Pêche, and Ko--all under the Momofuku name. Chang, a pig loving chef who made his start with a “fuk u” attitude has found continuing success, accolades, and celebrity by making straightforward, different, no-holds-barred good food, and delivering it casually and fairly inexpensively.
The Momofuku name gets a lot of positive recognition from diners and renowned chefs alike, making it a must-try in my book; I had to see what all the fuss was about. The noodle bar certainly does not need any validation from me and my humble little blog, but I’m going to give you some anyway.
Walking in at about 12:30 p.m., I was immediately seated beside the open kitchen. As a quick palate teaser, the amuse was a beet, goat cheese, and strawberry spoon. I of course, had to get the much talked about steamed pork belly buns to start, which lived up to all the hype—they were awesome. Equally as good was the brisket bun off of the day’s prix fixe menu, filled with horseradish mayo, pickled shallots, and romaine lettuce. One of Momofuku Noodle Bar’s great deals is the lunch prix fix menu which for twenty bucks gets you a bun, a noodle bowl, and a choice of soft serve or truffles for dessert. I ordered the ginger scallion noodles off of the regular menu for my meal; along with pickled shitakes and cucumbers, it also came with slices of fermented bamboo shoots called menma, which I had never tasted before.
Shortly after sitting down, a line started forming at the door. People love this place; and it’s easy to see why. The atmosphere is cool and laid back with quality food that you can eat and run. I would definitely go back to the noodle bar, and would like to try the other Momofuku restaurants as well. Perhaps the 12 seat, online- reservation only, Ko?