Because sometimes your high expectations are met 🙂
I can’t even express to you how badly and for how long I have wanted to slurp on a big bowl of noodles at Momofuku Noodle Bar.
The popular restaurant series founded by chef David Chang includes Momofuku Ssäm Bar and its bar Booker & Dax, in addition to Má Pêche, Momofuku Ko, various Milk Bar locations, and the first and original Noodle Bar, are New York landmarks.
Even knowing how awesome Noodle Bar was from reviews and from friends, it just eluded me. So year after year, and many pieces of Crack Pie from Milk Bar along the way, I knew it was time to just make a damn plan already and dive into a bowl of ramen and the pork buns that absolutely MUST precede it.
|The menu, and also…Momofuku’s prices won’t bankrupt you.|
|I skipped alcohol to go with this ginger ale made with real ginger and cane sugar. Delicious!|
So there I was, in the East Village on a warm summer night to eat a bowl of hot broth and noodles. Hey, I told you a plan had to be made and I would not be stopped. Of course, on a warm night I would walk right past Noodle Bar and I had no idea. But it is pretty easy to bypass it since the restaurant has NO sign so here’s your tip if you’ve never been: just look for the crowd.
Once I found it there was a small wait which is typical here. Two people can easily by seated since patrons tend to devour and slurp their way to the end of each bowl pretty quickly.
After a short 15 minute wait it was time to practically go swimming in a bowl of ramen and I barely needed to look at Noodle Bar’s one page menu, but first…
|In all their tender glory, pork buns.|
If you don’t order pork buns you have lost your mind. Nearly every table had pork buns or some type of bun on it. In fact, Noodle Bar has a dude whose sole job is to cook and assemble buns. With my pork bun order already in, I no doubt had to keep my mouth closed in fear I would drool all over the bar. Seating me in front of the bun chef was a bad idea. My buns came out without too much of a wait and I surely smacked my lips eating these things. The pork belly in Noodle Bar’s bun leaves you wondering, “How the heck do they get it that tender?” The hoisin sauce gives the bun a little extra flavor and the scallion and cucumber add some crunch. You won’t be able to get enough of these things and every bun I have eaten since has been inferior.
|Slurping contest, anyone?|
Up next was the real reason I was here and was the same as all the whispers of multiple orders I heard being given to the wait staff…Momofuku Ramen. This giant bowl of broth includes fish cakes, nori, and green onion among other goodies but for me it was all about that tender, flavorful pork once again. Two kinds of pork, actually, both the belly and some chopped up pork shoulder. One more bonus was the perfect poached egg that floats in the bowl and added richness when I broke it open.
When eating the ramen I knew I was “home.” To be in a place where people just ate and hardly gave manners an afterthought was comforting, where we all operated chopsticks like a boss and shoved homemade ramen noodles into our mouths, and slurped broth, both with the spoon and from the edge of the bowl.
|The cereal themed desserts were a big hit.|
After all the lip smacking, noodle sucking, and broth slurping dessert was a must. All the Momofuku restaurants have cereal based desserts. At Noodle Bar I tried two; Lucky Peach Soft Serve and the Fruity Cereal & Marshmallow Cookie. Lucky Peach Soft Serve is now one of my favorite ice creams and I know it is because it tastes just like Lucky Charms! The soft, sugary Fruity Pebbles speckled cookie was another treat and to say I would eat my way through a dozen would be a lie. I would eat more than a dozen in one sitting. These desserts made me feel like they knew my childhood and added it to the menu just for me.
Are you curious about Momofuku Noodle Bar yet? Gosh, I certainly hope so.
Why do I care so much? Well…
Noodle Bar has a special fried chicken dinner that must be reserved in advance for parties of 4-8 people and comes with two whole fried chickens, one southern style and one korean style and is served with mu shu pancakes, bibb lettuce, four sauces and an assortment of seasonal vegetables.
THAT is why I care! And if you know me, and we’re cool, let’s take this fried chicken field trip together!
Momofuku Noodle Bar
171 First Avenue
Between 10th& 11th Street
New York, NY 10003