One of the most important tasks that I had on my recent trip was to have a meal at David Chang's Momofuku for its uber famous Pork Bao which has generated a cult following. I was dreaming day and night and told all my friends that I must eat at a Pork Bao at Momofuku. And so I did. It was a rainy Monday afternoon in NYC as we headed into East Village for the much anticipated meal. Maybe it's the rain, we got in just before 12pm and got 2 seats right away in a cozy corner. You can imagine how excited I was being there. Kids get excited in Disneyland, I get excited in a noodle bar! My parents will be so proud of me.
We ordered 2 sets of pork buns with hoisin sauce, scallions and cucumber, a noodle and salad to share with hopes of squeezing in some dessert later. When the buns arrived at the table, I held them tight as if they were my first born. The buns were so light and fluffy; it's like no other buns I have ever eaten before and the chunky pieces of pork are thick and juicy with the gelatinous pork fat melting in your mouth with each bite. The meat was tender and flavourful but I could really do with a little more hoi sin sauce.
As you can see the buns are not very big but after 2 pieces I was half full. Disappointing. I would have liked to eat some desserts .
Before going to NYC, I have read some negative reviews about the noodle at Momofuku. I thought I should give it a try and have my own opinion about it. I have to agree that the Spicy Miso Ramen is nothing to write home about. There is no spicyness in the soup which was bordering on bland but I did like the textures of all the elements particularly the noodles which was al dente.
Fava bean -freekeh salad with feta cheese was refreshing and pleasant but not something that I would reorder.
The decor is very simplistic but cosy and you don't feel cramped in. Probably not a child-friendly place but that's a noodle bar for you. It's meant to be a quick bite for lunch or a quick catch up after work.
Was it worth the effort to track this place down? Yes. The pork buns are phenomenal and if you have a company of four or more, you can try to go to try out the famous fried chicken and peking duck from Momofuku Ssam Bar which requires at least 4 people with healthy appetites.
Anyway if you are into the new craze of Asian fusion food, you may want to give this place a try. The prices are very reasonable for its status, service and quality.
Momofuku Noodle Bar
171 first ave
btwn 10 and 11th street
New York 10003
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