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Momofuku Noodle Bar

Dinner at Momofuku Noodle Bar last night, after having seen Star Trek 11.

Spicy potato chips

Roasted asparagus, miso butter, soft-boiled egg, pine nuts

The famous steamed pork buns

Roasted pig tails, scallions, pickled Asian pear, spice glaze

Momofuku ramen, Berkshire pork belly, pork shoulder, poached egg, ham stock

Chef David Chang, also of Momofuku Ssäm Bar, Momofuku Ko and Momofuku Bakery and Milk Bar, opened Momofuku Noodle Bar in 2003. It was his first restaurant. To distinguish it from the other ramen-yas in New York at the time, he decided to offer top notch ingredients sourced from Union Square Greenmarket and other quality purveyors. His vision was, of course, a smashing success.

The ramen alone is worth the trip. The broth is made fresh daily from about 70 lbs. of chicken legs, roasted pork bones, ham hocks and bacon. Toppings range from slivered snow peas, preserved bamboo shoots, Greenmarket corn (when available, as this restaurant follows the dictates of seasonality), and of course, Berkshire pork belly. This ain’t your typical Cup O’ Noodles from your grad school days. Oh no, it’s a love affair with pork, which according to Mr. Chang, makes everything taste better.

Momofuku Noodle Bar is located at 171 First Avenue (East 11th Street) in the East Village.

6 replies »

  1. Thanks Julie.

    I do like DC’s cooking. He has some wonderful ideas not seen in the NYC restaurant scene for quite a while.

    That being said, I’m not entirely certain that Ko was the right choice in relation to the James Beard awards.

    I can think of several restaurants that are just as worthy — Convivio and Dovetail for example. Or Gramercy Tavern. Of course, GT isn’t “new” — it’s been open since the early 1990s. However, with Michael Anthony at the helm, the restaurant has been thoroughly rejuvenated in delightful and surprising ways.

    But Ko has won it, so congratulations are in order. One hopes that additional excitement is in store, on the basis of the FOOD, not because of the aura of exclusivity that’s seemingly projected because of the difficulty in procuring a reservation.


  2. I haven’t been to Corton yet — and in fact, may not get to it until perhaps later in the year.

    I have an opportunity to go to a high-end place coming up in the next couple of months. It’s kind of rare in these times to be honest. Lately I’ve been cooking at home a lot.

    Right now I’m looking at BH Washington Square, Bouley, Hearth, Craft or Insieme. I’ve been to all five in the past three years. Hearth and BHWS more than the other three. I haven’t made up my mind yet though. You can find entries for some of those meals on this here website thingy.


    • I have been cooking at home a lot too…Luckily though I have the excuse of friends coming around to indulge myself. I have never been to BH Washington Square or Bouley yet – Loved Insieme, went to Craft Bar (and the whole meal was too salty). I am considering going back to Per Se and try their a la carte menu (that is, if I find a job…).


      • Been to BHWS on numerous occasions since 2003, although not since the new chef took over. Last was when Juan Cuevas (currently chef de cuisine at Eighty One, formerly sous chef at Lespinasse and saucier tournant at ADNY) was in the kitchen.

        For what it’s worth, I don’t think there’s a discernible difference between BHWS and BH Stone Barns, except in degrees of freshness. Of course I’ve only been to BHSB once whereas I’ve dined at BHWS at least three times.

        Insieme is great although I think Hearth is the better restaurant, simply because I prefer the aesthetic that’s evident in that kitchen. Modern American with Italian influences. It’s funny though, because when I cook at home, I go for pure Italian. Maybe I prefer something different as opposed to what usually happens in my home kitchen.

        I haven’t been to Per Se yet. Friends of mine who have been (and who are knowledgeable about this sort of thing) have mentioned to me that it’s not worth going for the price point. In other words, you expect perfection at $300+ per head. It becomes jarring when your experience proves otherwise.


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