When CT was planning LH’s visit to NYC, she asked me for recommendations on restaurants that she should take LH to. It was a pretty easy decision as there are plenty “Only in NY” restaurants to choose from. The first thing that came to mind is one of the Momofukus. Although Yvo has had some choice words about them and their owner, here is chance for a Feisty Foodie review of Momofuku Noodle Bar. We arrived around 7 on a Tuesday so luckily we were seated right away.
I started off with a beer. I chose the Ginga Kogen. It is an unfiltered Japanese beer. I never heard of it, but decided to splurge($10) and try it. I was quite happy with it. It was very refreshing on a hot, humid NYC day. CT got an Allagash White and LH got the Limeade Soju Slushie.
Since it was so hot, I knew I wasn’t going to get the ramen. I also had it last time I was there, so I wanted to try something new. The prix fix was the most interesting and at $30, pretty reasonable.
I was first given an amuse of spring radish with what I believe was kimchi mayo and scallion. The radish was nice and crunchy with a little heat from the kimchi. It definitely whet my appetite.
We also got two appetizers to share.
The obligatory pork buns. Delicious as usual. I think these are mandatory anytime you bring a Momo-virgin to the restaurant.
CT chose the chicken tamale too. It was a good tamale. The chicken was too dry which can happen quite easily when the tamale is steamed.
My first course was the Spanish Mackarel Tataki with horseradish sour cream, mint, and snap peas. Everything was super fresh, not fishy at all. I didn’t detect any horseradish flavor, but the snap peas were great. I wonder if they get them from the Union Square greenmarket that morning?
My second course was Miso Soup with rice cakes, wakame, and chili oil. This was quite possibly the best miso soup I ever had. Super flavorful with the saltiness of the miso and the heat of the chili oil. They rice cakes were cut to mimic the traditional tofu that is usually served in the soup.
The main was Roasted Duck Breast with cipollini onion, rhubarb, and strawberry. The meat was cooked perfectly, super tender. Strawberry and rhubard is a classic combination was brought great flavor to the dish.
LH got the signature Ramen. She said she wasn’t hungry, but managed to eat pretty much the whole thing. (She split open the egg before I got to take the picture.)
CT also decided to try something different as she wasn’t in a ramen mood. She went with the Chilled Spicy Noodles with Sichuan spiced sausage, spinach, and cashews. At first it looked like a sausage, cashew, spinach salad. The noodles were hidden underneath, so mixing was required. It turned out to be a great dish. The noodles were coated in chili oil, which made them SUPER spicy. The spinach and candied cashews helped to alleviate some of the heat. The sausage was good and brought good substance to the dish.
CT adds: At first sight, I’ll admit I had some food-envy, but by the end I liked my dish the best! Even as a lover of spicy food, this dish had me sweating, though still tasting delicious!
My prix-fix came with dessert. The soft serve flavors were too good to pass up. Olive Oil and Pickled Cherry. I got both. The flavors were quite good, although the pickled cherry totally overwhelmed the olive oil. It was just the right amount of dessert for me, served in a Chinese tea cup.
All in all, it was good meal. I am glad I was able to show LH the Momofuku empire. The restaurant wasn’t too loud and we weren’t squished in our seats, which was a welcome change. Yes, its not the best ramen in the world, but its other dishes are pretty unique and the prix fix is a good deal.