The Park Slope Gastronome

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Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Another Tonight's Dinner (But Really Last Night's): Momofuku

I love noodles. They are my favorite food and most noodle dishes belong in my deliciousness hall of fame. So when Dan and I found ourselves in the East Village for dinner, which doesn't happen all that much, I proposed Momofuku, a noodle bar and much more on 1st Avenue between 10th and 11th streets. I've wanted to try Momofuku for a while, and the curiosity has been heightened by the recent articles in the Times dining section, where chef David Chang has been a guest columnist. The space is tiny, basically a kitchen and an H-shaped counter but we got there early enough that we weren't elbowed out.

We split a 22oz Orion - the beer of beers - as our beverage. To begin, we got an order of chicken steamed buns and I got a single Moonstone Oyster on the half shell with kimchi puree. The latter I got mainly as a novelty. The steamed buns were awesome. The buns, which looked like fluffy oversized oyster crackers, were split open and spread on both sides with a hoisin sauce (I probably could have used a bit less) and then thinly sliced cucumbers were fanned out. A sprinkle of finely chopped scallions were scattered about. The vegetables were topped with a shredded chicken mixture that had been heating up on the grill and developing a delicious golden brown crust. The combination was awesome.

For our mains, Dan got the Tsukemen - a bowl of chilled noodles, shredded Berkshire pork, poached egg, scallions, bright green spring peas, nori and cucumbers. Accompanying it was a bowl of salty shoyu broth into which you dip everything. I got the house ramen, which came with a poached egg, Berkshire pork combo (belly and a shredded delicious mass), scallions, those gorgeous green peas, nori and menma (pickled bamboo shoots). Momofuku makes the most gorgeous poached egg, perfectly shaped with this beautiful translucency to them. I poked the yolk of mine and swirled it around the broth to thicken it and to also further cook the yolk a bit.

The shredded Berkshire pork was amazing. When I first looked at the mass in my bowl, I expected it to be fatty and unsavory, which it wasn't at all. I gobbled up bite after bite.

Also, this doesn't happen often, but the bowl of noodles totally kicked my ass and I wound up sharing some of my pork belly and noodles with Dan cause I was stuffed! I ate most of his peas because for some reason, he hates them. I think like bleu cheese, if he gave them a chance, he'd change his mind.

By the time we left, the place was packed and there was a line outside as well. Annoying East Village wanker had to stand right by the door and when I was exiting, the door hit him and even though I apologized (totally unecessary - don't stand by doors), he gave me a dirty look. It would be a harbinger of East Village stupidity to come (check out the Bibimbop for the scoop).

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Anonymous Adrienne said...


i love this place too. but it is overun my annoying people. the poached egg perfection is what keeps me going back!

May 02, 2006 10:40 AM  
Blogger China-Latina Chowhound said...

I really want to try to this place, but I find the close, intimate dining quarters to a bit intimidating and unnerving. Those chicken buns sound so good though. Once A was waiting for takeout there and the chef was berating one of his underlings! Awkward.

May 02, 2006 11:29 AM  

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