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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Making it to Momofuku

Congratulate me because I finally made it to Momofuku Noodle Bar.  Til now, my only Momofuku experience has been at Milk Bar (and that's not an experience to sneer at), but I've been dying to expand my Momofuku horizons for quite some time.

After our sticky buns, Podz and I decided to do a little day drinking and grabbed bloodies and beers at Three of Cups (which had a great $4 bloody mary special) and d.b.a. (because Saturday weather was perfect for sitting on their large back patio and because they have an extensive list of ever-changing draughts).  Considering we hadn't eaten much and we had both worked out in the morning, we were feeling quite tipsy by around 7 PM so we said goodbye to the new friends we made at the bar and decided to walk up 1st Ave. until we found something good to eat.  It didn't take us long to hit Momofuku and, amazingly, we were able to get a seat at the bar right away.

There was no way we weren't going to get the pork buns as a starter since they're practically world famous, for good reason.  Instead of the mayo and iceberg lettuce leaf you usually find on pork buns, Chef David Chang (who was actually there - I almost swooned) uses hoisin sauce and cucumber.  It made a world of difference, as did the thick layer of fat on the pork belly.  Yes, fat always adds flavor to meat, but on these buns, the fat is flavor.

Next up we decided to get two noodle bowls and slurp away.  We chose the Momofuku Ramen because it is a signature dish.  I'll be honest, I didn't think the broth was nearly as flavorful as some of the other ramen I've tried at places like Ippudo, Minca, or Hide-Chan, but the toppings made up for it.  Sprouts, radishes, seaweed, pork belly, and an egg to beat all other eggs I've had on ramen.  This egg was soft boiled instead of hard boiled so it was nice and runny and, oh, what a difference that yolk makes.  Our second noodle bowl was a special, and unfortunately I can not remember the name of it (something like Goopsum?).  It was not soupy like the ramen and was made with a spicy-sweet chili/simple syrup sauce.  It was topped with tender chicken, fried egg, pickled cucumber, scallion, and pickled watermelon.  I wish it was always on the menu - I had to tell myself to slow down and pull my head out of the bowl.

I can finally check Momofuku Noodle Bar off the list only to add it right back on because I can't wait to go back.

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