Recently, I finally made my way to Momofuku Noodle Bar in the East Village. As a newly indoctrinated New Yorker and specifically one working in food television, I’m quite familiar with David Chang and his Momofuku empire. His restaurants include the aforementioned Noodle Bar, Ssam Bar, Ko, Ma Peche, Milk Bar and the bar, Booker and Dax*. Across his restaurants (which span from NYC to Australia), Chang’s puts his own spin on Asian favorites, often mixing inventive techniques with traditional Asian flavors.
I, for one, admire his cooking philosophy and style and while I know he can inspire both love and hatred in the foodie community, you can’t deny his food isn’t delicious!
My new goal is to eat at each Momofuku location in New York. I’ll keep you updated! But, I thought it best to start with Noodle Bar for some good ol’ fashion ramen. Confession of the day: before my experience at Momofuku, I had never had real ramen, just that “cup of ramen” variety. Shameful for a foodie, I know!
We were lucky enough to sit right at the noodle bar facing the cooks. I loved being able to watch them! Gotta get my butt in a kitchen if only for a day!
But anyway, we started with their shrimp and pork steamed buns and split the pig tails appetizer of the day. Everything was amazing. The pig tails were succulent with rich flavors and paired wonderfully with an Asian pear salad. And those buns! Pork buns are god’s gift to earth if you ask me.
But more importantly the ramen! I got the traditional Momofuku pork ramen while my always adventurous dining companion got the seasonal goat ramen! Man, oh man, do I love ramen! You may not look sexy slurping broth and noodles, but with ramen this good, who cares!
And now I’ll have to add mastering ramen making to my culinary wish lost! (As you may have noticed, such dining experiences have the wonderful effect of inspiring me to expand my culinary knowledge. What more could you ask for really?). I recently made David Chang’s bo ssam laquered pork in lettuce leaves to much delight of my dinner guests.
Love it or hate it, David Chang’s restaurants are part of the fabric of the NYC dining scene and if you have the chance, it’s definitely worth the wait! Sometimes you just need a little ramen to soothe your soul and those pork buns can mend any broken heart or turn any bad day around in an instant!