October 9, 2012

NYC: Momofuku Noodle Bar

Award-winning chef David Chang is a Korean-American who received Japanese culinary training. That explains the culinary mishmash on Momofuku Noodle Bar's menu, with dishes ranging from kimchi stew to ramen and pear salad.
Having grown up with Chinese kong bak pau, Momofuku's famed pork buns ($10 for two) was no new dish to me. But they were an admittedly excellent, refined take on this classic. Slabs of Berkshire pork are braised till meltingly tender, then slathered in sweet hoisin and nestled in pillowy steamed mantou. Slices of crunchy cucumber slices add contrast to the drippingly juicy meat. I'll take a dozen, please?
The Momofuku ramen ($16), however, failed to impress. The slices of pork shoulder and cured cabbage were fall-apart delicious, but they failed to redeem the generic alkaline noodles and the uninspiring, one-dimensional broth. As perfectly executed the slow-poached egg was, it did not complement the ramen as well as seasoned ajitsuke tamago would have. To be honest, I'm truly puzzled about how Momofuku could be well-known for its ramen.
The friend's kimchi stew ($16)

I'm not sure if the rest of Momofuku's menu is worth visiting for, but why not drop by Momofuku for a couple of pork buns if you happen to be in the East Village?

Momofuku Noodle Bar
171 First Avenue (Between 10th and 11th Street)
New York, NYC 10003

Opening hours:
Lunch: 12pm-4.30pm (Mon-Fri), 12pm-4pm (Sat-Sun)
Dinner: 5.30pm-11pm (Sun-Thurs), 5.30pm-2am (Fri-Sat)

Momofuku Noodle Bar on Urbanspoon


  1. Ah no wonder you left that comment on my blog haha! Yeah that's something that seems to be consistent with friends who visit the Momofuku Noodle Bar - they find it a huge letdown.

    I think probably because the method of making their ramen stock and the traditional Japanese ramen stock is rather different. And also that the westerners aren't usually aware of what good ramen stock tastes like.

    But those pork belly slices are damn good, I hear they use sous vide machines to make them now!

  2. to think about it, you have a good point- i think most of the patrons in the restaurant were westerners. i loved the flavor of the berkshire pork! those pork buns are like atas kong bak pau haha.

  3. Hahaha it's really worth it though. Do try making those pork belly slices at home, very nice to eat! Let me know if you need tips on making them.