October 21, 2012

NYC: Doughnut Plant

Peanut butter and banana. Tres leches. Carrot cake. The Doughnut Plant offers a splendidly innovative assortment of donuts which I can only dream of finding in Singapore.
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YOLO. I wanted to make the most out of my trip to NYC, so I had... three donuts. 
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Dessert for breakfast, anyone? Torched with crackly caramelized sugar, the crème brûlée doughnut was piped full of voluptuous vanilla bean custard. It's a good thing that this dangerous treat comes in baby-sized portions.
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The coconut cream variant squarely hit the sweet spot. Glazed with coconut shavings, the fluffy yeast-risen donut conjures of dreams of tropical islands with its silky coconut custard core. I hear that they actually shell fresh coconuts to make these!
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While the texture of the yeast-risen donuts were perfectly light with right amount of chew, the dense cake donuts weren't much moister than from those from most donut chains. Paling in comparision was the pistachio cake donut, which came sans filling and simply studded with nuts. 
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I would have carted a dozen (or two) back to Montreal if not for my already-obese luggage. The carrot cake donut and nut milks call for a return visit!

Doughnut Plant on Urbanspoon

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.
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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?
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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.
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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